Wednesday, September 06, 2023
My goodness things change so fast in digital it is so hard to keep up even for me after 35 years. The past year we have experienced some interesting developments in the digital world and I have identified some macro issues that will disrupt the market or shape its future. A couple of COPA Judges -  Jean-François Bérubé and Anik Magny have chipped in on the discussion. 

1. Facebook and Google taken to the Legislative wood shed.

The free ride of unfettered access to free content created by third party publishers is over. The theft of this content and I have been pointing this out for years to deaf hears. The news industry is grasping at a paid model, but a free to paid model is too late for some publishers. I noticed the newsstand copy of the Globe and Mail (very thin BTW) and was tempted to get one, but the cost was $4.00.

What the future holds?: The current legislation of the digital giants providing content fees to publishers is wrought with potential bear traps. How do you enforce it . Facebook just went offline for Canadian content and we are waiting to see the impact.

2. Influencers go mainstream - Only Fans becomes the new Playboy

Even though Facebook and Google take a lot of heat for their profits through their market dominance. One side effect of this is the ecosystem of “Influencers” that was created . This is a multi-billion dollar ad market that that they do not get a cut off except for the free user generated content provided for this ecosystem. The use of “Adult” content on “Only Fans” page as become the new “ Playboy” with centrefold type celebrities sharing experiences with their fans. Ya gotta say its a better deal than a print magazine subscription and sex still sells in the digital age. LOL

Advertisers targeting A 18-34 are leaning this way as the best way to reach this group. But don’t ask Budweiser of the viral side effects of this tactic from the stealth marketing activity in the USA from the left and right to shape public opinion. Traditional media have been left in the dust for this generation of consumers as this group prefers video to text, use ad blockers and are smartphone zombies. The COPAs this year added this as new category. 

Anik Magny, COPA Judge, Podcaster
The growing ecosystem of influencers is indeed something to keep an eye on. Several studies show that Generation Z is abandoning traditional media due to a lack of representation and diversity of opinion, but also out of mistrust and lack of confidence in institutions that all too often seem to follow a political agenda. As a result, they are turning to people who sound and look like them, with a variety of opinions. Some podcasts available online last for hours, so it's possible to capture the attention of Generation Z with denser content, but we need to rethink our formats and the way we deliver it. 

Traditional media don’t always maintain a bond of trust or a sense of community with BIPOC communities. The strength of influencers lies in their proximity to the public and the sense of belonging and community they are able to create, which has become almost impossible with traditional broadcasters.

3. AI Generated Content opens a New Pandora Box

This is the latest salvo by tech using AI as a tool and promising a new and better world. But AI content software vendors are being sued by book authors for content theft and the USA is looking at regulations to keep deep fakes that are occurring in the market. The movie industry is at a standstill on the use of AI and its possible use in the industry.

I am a skeptic on AI right now as it is not 100% correct, your may get three different answers to the same problems from three different software.  My brother who was an AI lab manager at Google and we discussed his work, he told me AI needs experience to work to achieve a better outcome of the 10% error rate of math. I always used the error rate of math with my brother to bug him about his work.  LOL (Math Error rate is plus or minus 10% 19 out 20 times).

BUT….I recently got casted in a commercial where I did the voiceover and script. During post production the script was changed and my voice was edited using AI. In this scenario the producers creativity is enhanced with minimal cost, so AI is here to stay

Jean-François Bérubé, COPA Judge, Content Creator
AI Generated Content has emerged as the latest technological frontier, offering a disruptive impact on a variety of industries. As with any change, many individuals are terrified or upset by it. However, AI is here to stay and will change the way we operate. AI is creating previously unimaginable opportunities and making individuals more efficient in their work. It can be a good thing in the creative process because it speeds up a lot of the phases in content creation and can be an excellent helper, removing the tedious tasks while humans handle the human activities. Having stated that, it is prudent for society to create guidelines while using such technology.

Anik Magny, COPA Judge, Podcaster
It's understandable, even natural and necessary, for artists to be concerned about the crazy rise of AI. But by talking with independent artists, particularly small production companies and non-profit organizations with a small or no staff, I saw a potential benefit in AI. Some are considering using artificial intelligence to assist them in applying for grants - a long and energy consuming process that discourages many. I found this interesting. Could artificial intelligence eventually offer the help that so many small players lack? I don't have the answer, but I found the discussion very interesting.

4. Dominance of USA Publishers in the Programmatic Ad market
The cost to play in the market is that you have to make a profit based on $2CPM or less. Pretty tough for a Canadian publishers. Agencies the big players take a blind eye as clients want a low CPM. This is not sustainable for Canadian publishers as USA based ad networks  have flooded the market with a low cost advertising that is putting Canadian publishers out of business. We need advertisers to buy Canadian. Here is a Toronto government ad that is on CNN, this should not happen.

How do we do this?
We need barriers to entry to the Canadian market to level the playing field from the cheap USA digital imports that are flooding the market. Television faced the same issues in their history with USA border stations, magazines with USA titles restirected to newsstand only and we need to do the same for digital. Canadians are too soft and polite and we need to act like a Bear with tariffs, tax deductions and sales taxes as the weapons not the ill-fated content tax that is facing major hurdles. Where is Shelia Copps when we need her!!! Buy Canadian!!!

5. Streaming Opportunities for Canadian Content Creators

Here Canada has already lost the battle to Hollywood. All the major streamers are USA based. Canada's only positive side effect is that Toronto and Vancouver have becomes hubs for USA film and commercial production outside of LA and NY. This can only be a good thing as it has fostered a independent film community that will help create the next generation of content creators in Canada for the video generation.

I had a first hand look at this new generation when I was casted as “ Human” in a Toronto Film School  production of  "Blood Sisters” produced by Jessica Duval as part the student's final thesis. The Toronto Film School is one the top film Schools in Canada and the COPAs will be reaching out to all the film schools in the country to participate in the COPA’s this year to help raise their profile. 

Jessica Duval - Producer - Blood Sisters
As a filmmaker you need like minded people to bring a story to life from the individuals in front of the camera to behind. You become family, working that many hours together.  It’s been a pleasure working with the Toronto Film School and all the students who assisted on set to already working artists in the industry traveling from as far as Ottawa to provide their expertise and join the vibes.  We as Canadians may be the cheaper route for Hollywood but we keep growing. I look forward to what the future holds for this production piece, resources are endless. A series might just be what the humans are asking for!” 

6. Wink, Wink…Criminal activity is rampant in cyberspace

Ya think with all the chatter about cyber crimes it will go away, but it has not. As Barnum and Bailey use to say, “There is a sucker born every minute” and this is still true with all the scams out there, I have come across fake movies casting calls, but this latest one is a doozy as it uses fake video testimonials about an AI software from Elon Musk, CBS and even Premier Ford.


You end up a getting a calling from a Quebec phone number, btw. These were posted on Facebook using multiple fake identities. This was a paid campaign on Facebook and they earned revenue on this. If Facebook can filter news they can filter this, but they did not. This poses the question does Facebook profit from all the scams out there?

What is the Roadmap for the Future for Content?

Anik Magny
In the years to come, it will be imperative to review the form of the products - it will no longer be possible to keep the classic 30- and 60-minute formats, for example. We need to adapt the form to the content, as well as the narrative structure, without abandoning quality content.  The notion of format came up again and again during discussions with young BIPOC in the cultural industry. Quebec television is standardized, with few types of format: 30 minutes or 60 minutes, including commercial breaks. Many are calling for a carte blanche - a freer, more fluid space with lighter subjects.

Web Series is a new form of Content
Well, I have seen a glimpse of the future, I have been working on a Web Series cast as a Asian Crime Boss this summer and it will have 100 two minutes episodes that will be available on TikTok and another web series I worked on “Pork U” (trailer link) a comedy that will be available on YouTube this fall. These independent film productions is a new wave of content outside of traditional models.

Canadian Content creators need to adapt to this new environment , but to succeed is a very challenging as the industry needs protection from the global giants that dominate the industry. We welcome your comments for further discussion.
Thursday, June 01, 2023
The COPA’s are now in its 15th year and will continue to move to support digital content creators across Canada and this year we will create categories for the growing influencer community in Canada that exists on Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook and You Tube. These influencers reach the Gen Z segment of the market (A 18-32) that grew up with a smartphone. Once I take out me personal generational bias it opened my eyes on this market after talking with few Gen Z’s.

The holy grail of marketing is to create a personal one-on-one relationship with your customer on scale and “Influencer Marketing’ achieves this. We know influencer marketing works or does not work based on the recent experience of Budweiser using an influencer that had 11 million followers that the core market rebelled against resulting in a sales drop through a product boycott. 

The ecosystem of influencers in Canada has a low of 10,000 followers and up 1.2 million based on published reports by talent agency vendors who provide access to the influencers through their networks. The more notable name on this list is pro hockey player /celebrity Mitch Marner with 500K followers. On the other side of the coin are the digital agencies that manage the influencer campaign with all the ad tech tools for tracking and reporting. This new ecosystem is estimated to be a $20 billion market worldwide that is provided for free from all the major social media providers Twitter, Tok Tok, YourTube, Facebook and Instagram. 

The content of the influencers is sliced along like magazines based on niche topics like fashion, beauty, health, sports, and wellness, but is personal and not branded like in magazine or newspaper. I can call an influencer a micro magazine but instead of words they use video and pictures. If a Gen Z were to ask to read an article or watch a video they will watch a video. This where my personal generational bias is a factor as I am the opposite, this was confirmed when I was planning an Instargram account to reach this community in the COPA’s search for Canada’s Best Influencer on social media. Today’s journalists need to create stories with pictures and video a not words to reach this market as they live on social media.

This is the new digital media and its has been dubbed the “Creator Economy” that had different names in the past like bloggers, vloggers, but today’s influencers have scale. Look if a magazine has a subscription base of 500K that would be amazing, but a personal brand like Mitch Marner, pro hockey player/celebrity has 500K too. If you want to make a personal connection to your brand this is a good way to go for today’s Gen Z.

When the brand is  a good fit with an influencer and they have a good reach these mini-magazines are now part of today's digital media buy for some consumer brands. The revenue potential is based on reach, but the industry rates for influencers are modest at $100-$250 per post, but it can add up quick you work with 20+ influencers. But Gen Z’s are smart and they don’t believe everything they hear or read. During my research I discovered the TOP 100 beauty Influencers were displayed on the World of Beauty Italy website

Social media is at a pivotable point in its growth. One one hand you a a free digital communications system via text, photo and video that is available for free that is used by millions of people around the world. According to some of the industry marketing hype provided in The State of Influencer Marketing benchmark report by Influencer Marketing Hub states, the Influencer Marketing Industry is estimated at $21.1 Billion in 2023. The Key social media tools used by brands are Tok Tok (56%), Instagram (51%), Facebook (42%) and YouTube (38%).

Twitter’s move to clean up social media from all the bad actors has been a good one. We all know all about fake people on the internet and their paid model is a good step. If I am advertiser in one of the many influencers networks I want to have the confidence that my ad/content does not go into an ad farm with fake clicks and people. The paid model is a good way to have people authenticated that they are real people. Considering that a $20 billion industry has been created using free tools, people will be willing to pay the fee if they make money on it, so it will work, but not all. Instagram is also following suit.

As a publisher though I have been reluctant to accept content from the Digital agencies. Here is a pitch from an agency I recently received for $500.

1) The published article must get indexed and It should not be backdated.
2) Links should be Do follow- 1 Client link,1 Internal link, and 2 High authority links.
3) The post must be on the homepage for some time and it should be accessible from the homepage (via a relevant category).
4) The Article and links should not be marked as a sponsored post, paid post, guest post, etc. Also, there should not be any kind of disclaimer like: “This post may contain affiliate links’’ in the article.
5) The post and links should remain permanently archived on your website.

They ask for a lot for $500, but the kicker is the lack of transparency of the post and to most publishers this is too big of a risk. This is why for many years I have always been skeptical on this type of approach and as you can see there is a lot of stealth articles being posted on the web as authentic.

Trust is key to the relationship between the influencer and the consumer and the Ad Standards of Canada introduced guidelines to help ensure that influencer content is not deceptive. It requires that the representations disclose any material connection between the influencer and the entity behind the brand, product or service being promoted. The guidelines further requires this disclosure to be clear, prominent, and in close proximity to the representation being made.

With the advent of AI generated content, let’s see if any virtual influencer shows up creating content for this digital ecosystem. But at any rate it is here to stay and we are now beginning the search for Canada’s Best Influencer as part of the 2023 COPA’s.
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Cutting the chord is no longer a trend as internet streaming is now mainstream for people to watch movies and tv. The market is now cluttered with many choices with major studios in the USA entering the market. The category was created by Netflix, that started as a video/DVD rental mail order company in 1997. In 2007 Netflix introduced streaming video on demand in the USA and it was launched in Canada in 2010

As of January 2023, Netflix had over 230 million subscribers worldwide, including 74.3 million in the United States and Canada; 76.7 million in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 41.7 million in Latin America and 38 million in the Asia-Pacific region. It is now the second largest media/entertainment company globally and its arrogance in how they treat their customers driven by their blind ambition to meet Wall Street expectations will be their downfall. 

The latest business decision by Netflix, using a business practice seen in the cable industry, to create new revenue streams is based on the location of the user, not the number of users that needs to be called out. If you were a current subscriber like me who had 4 user agreement and then be asked to pay extra if they are in different locations breaks new ground for tech/media companies to maximize revenue.


They want to more than double my rate in a big cash grab from $20/mo (that started at $13) to $44!!! This has only been done in Canada and not in the USA. Canadians are the guinea pig for this as we tend to take a “meh” attitude toward things like this, except in Quebec. Their dis-information campaign that Canadians are a bunch of digital theft artists is just camouflage, just like greenwashing that is everywhere today by oil companies.

According to a post on the Daily Hive, Netflix’s statement on the new measures, password sharing is inhibiting its ability to make money.

“Today, over 100 million households are sharing accounts — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films,”  Chengyi Long, director of product innovation at Netflix. 

But the platform reported a whopping US$7.8 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2022. That’s nearly CA$10.5 billion.

The blowback to Netflix’s decision in Canada seems like a boon to the domestic streaming companies as I have switched to Crave, ya I am making a plug for Ma Bell. It seems I am not the only one, in an online March 2023 poll by -  46% of respondents said that they have switched to a new service provider (Sampe Size 7,267). 


After a month on Crave, there is no going back to Netflix. I can still have a 4 user agreement (but not based on location) plus the collection is better as there are more current titles plus HBO is included. The Netflix collection in Canada is not the same as in the USA (more current shows to choose from) and Crave has some of the Canadian rights like all the latest Star Trek Collection that is not on Neflix Canada. Telus not to be outdone offers a bundle package that includes Netflix, Apple TV and Discovery. Depending on your budget there are free options in Canada too.

The CBC GEM (ad supported model) has a good collection of Canadian talent and has created some major hits like Murdoch Mysteries and Heartland. is a new free streaming service with popular re-runs like Walker, Texas Ranger, Happy Days and Love Boat. Asian Crush is another site for Asian titles that offers old spaghetti martial movies as part of their collection. There are also many free torrent sharing websites for the latest movies, tv shows and live sports that you can find on Reddit that are shared amongst their users as part of the digital gray market. I got to watch the Latest Top Gun movie this way.

USA based Global digital companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix dominate the digital ecosystems and have been able to do business without collecting sales taxes that gives them a competitive advantage with domestic players in Canada large and small. (Remember we are 10% the size of the USA, as we are just another 10 states in the North American Economic landscape). The dominance of USA based companies in Canada in the digital arena is not sustainable for a vibrant local industry, Netflix is just the latest global company to treat their customers like a profit widget that they can gorge on at will. 

How do we level the playing field for Canadian content producers in Canada? This will never happen, we are too small of a country, but we need the state to take assertive action like tariffs on foreign digital ad companies who are ad dumping at $2CPM in the Canadian market that is unprofitable for Canadian content producers to compete. The programmatic ad market drives the CPM under $2 and USA titles dominate this market also as they have the scale to be profitable. The big banks in Canada advertise here and that money should be going to Canadian publishers. 

Canadian publishers do need protection just like the history of television, that prevented USA border stations from getting any Canadian advertising as it was not tax deductible. If you purchased an ad on one of these stations you could not write it off. If we did this now this will discourage companies from advertising and move that money to Canadian publishers. The days of free access to the Canadian market is over. At the end of the day, we need to create digital borders so we can protect the local industry. 

I have called out Google and Facebook in a May 2018 blog posting of the questionable business practices of big business.  The Rise and Fall of the Digital Titans - Will history repeat itself again? The next chapter is to unfold with the latest legislation on digital rights of Canadian publishers. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Now we just had a look at how Google built a tech empire with $250 billion in revenue where they gave away their product for free. Now Microsoft built their $168 billion empire by making people pay for it. It all started with an operating system called MSDosc that was the first operating system created for the IBM PC in 1980. This was beginning of the paid software model that has transformed the industry and spawn countless new ecosystems for the desktop PC. Microsoft got $40 for their software on each unit.
In those days computers were $700 and used a floppy disc drive storage and was only in the reach of business users. I remember working on one at JWT in 1986 and there was only one for the whole media department. (During this time email and smartphones did not exist, fax was the way people communicated digitally)

 IBM PC Circa 1980 with a dot matrix printer


During these days office software was Lotus 123 for spreadsheets, Harvard Graphics for presentation software and Word Perfect for word processing. There was even a drawing program called Corel, a Canadian company. Through acquisition Microsoft created Office 365 (Launched in 1990) and leveraged their operating system as a competitive advantage during its marketing. Through the years Microsoft, used textbook predator capitalist strategies and acquired an interest in over 350 companies to fend off rivals and buy hot growth high tech companies. Microsoft is now one of the biggest gaming publishers through this strategy.

High Profile Acquisitions

Email: Hotmail/Outlook: 1997 ($500M) - 400 M users

Video Chat: SKYPE: 2011 ($8.5B) - 200 M users

Mobile Phones: Nokia Mobile Phones: 2013 ($7.2B)

Gaming: Mojang (Minecraft): 2014 (42.5B)

Social Media: Linkedin: 2016 ($26.2B) (830M users)

Gaming: Activision Blizzard: 2021 ($68.7B)

Today the Windows OS is on close to 70% of computers in Canada and it's primarily in the business market where companies like HP and Lenovo provide the latest hardware. The company produces a wide range of consumer and enterprise software for desktops, laptops, tablets and servers. The ubiquitous Office 365 is the business software of choice for office applications even though Google docs is gaining ground as the free choice. Students can get a license for Office 365 for free though. 

 Microsoft offers free services like email, video chat and social so you don't have to pay for everyting

Microsoft is the Biggest Gaming Publisher in the World.

The video game industry is another child of the Microsoft ecosystem and all the best games were written for Windows machines. This is a $37B market in the USA. There are 23 game developers and some of the best sellers of all time are Minecraft, Halo, Gears of War that are now owned by Microsoft. Global video game revenue was  $179.7 billion in 2020, according to IDC data, making the video game industry a bigger moneymaker than the global movie and North American sports industries combined. 

HP has a line of consumer computers just for gamers to cater to this market called Omen, these are high performance computers with CPUs clocking in 3GHZ or up with graphics cards. In this world response time is key, as things as keyboard and mouse lag response times may be the difference in winning and losing.

 HP has a consumer line for gamers called the OMEN


The Computer Hacker is Born as a new Life form

As with all ecosystems new life like bacteria was spawned as cyber criminals became a new art form and they targeted Windows users. New terms like malware, viruses, phishing and computer hi-jacking became everyday cyber threats and security software was born.
Microsoft's market dominance also spawned the growth of the Open Source Movement as Linux a free to use operating system that was invented in 1991 by  Linus Torvalds got widespread use and offered better security that Windows. This OS was used primarily for servers and data centers like the New York Stock exchange and NASA. I got to see this first hand as I worked with the Linux Journal during the Dot Com boom and knew all the players.

The Surface Hardware Line is Microsoft’s Signature Statement

As with all good capitalists, sometimes they will eat their own with their venture into hardware with the Surface line, even though they are partners with all the major computer companies in the world. The Surface line today from its humble beginnings as an OS for their first smartphone when they bought Nokia in 2013.
The Surface line today can be best described as their signature statement of their commitment in creating high quality leading edge products. The Surface line is not just a tablet anymore, it has ultra thin laptops that come with a 13 inch screen and a desktop (Studio 2) all in one with a 28 inch touch screen. They are still playing around with smartphones as they have unveiled a two screen model (Duo), that looks pretty cool and uses the Android OS.

 The Surface line are high quality builds doesigned to compete against Apple. You get chek out the Microsft Surface Line at your local Best Buy Store


Microsoft’s Carbon Free Strategy

Microsoft is planning to be Carbon free by 2030 to meet the Global 2050 goal of a carbon fee society. They have over 200 data centers worldwide and are being powered in part by wind and solar farms. Microsoft has a virtual tour of the data centre that you can check out. CLICK HERE


The identity of Microsoft can get a little confusing as they have their hands in many pies like business software, hardware (games consoles, tablets and phones), publishing (MSN News) and video game publishers. This is all built on their ubiquitous Windows OS that is now on version 11 and businesses run on Windows and will forever be a core part of the digital infrastructure in Canada.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

What can you say about Google? It has become a key component of the digital infrastructure for everyone to the point the word “Google” has become a verb. Google has provided the tools for just in time learning for just about anything for home, cars, etc  through YouTube how to videos. If you don't know something, just Google your question and you will find the answer. Tech guys have been using this technique to troubleshoot for years.

Google is the classic university school idea that became a very successful product and has become an intricate part of today’s digital ecosystem.It all started in 1998 during the dotcom boom by Larry Page and Sergy Brin students at Stanford University in California as a web based search algorithm called “Back Rub” and has now morphed into Google. The name “Google” is derived from the mathematical term “googol.”


“The internet is one of the world’s most powerful equalizers; it propels ideas, people and business large and small. Our mission is to organize the World’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. We aspire to give everyone the tools they need to increase knowledge, health, happiness and success.” Quote from the Google 2022 Annual Report

I believe Google has achieved that goal and we will be entering an interesting phase in the next generation of technologies that will incorporate AI learning . If we take inventory of what Google offers to users it is pretty impressive and it is free to use for everyone if you are part of the Google digital ecosystem and it all starts with a Gmail account.

The Google Digital Ecosystem

Today the world’s population is 7.8 Billion and if you take out China’s 1.4 Billion you have 6.4 billion people with access to Google and the numbers are staggering. Then you factor in that 20% of the population is under 15 years you are left with 5.1 billion adults 16+


How Big is Google?

1. Google Search Engine - 3.8 million searches per minute

2. Chrome Web Browser  - 2.65 billion users

3. Gmail Email - 1.5 billion users

4. YouTube Videos - 2.65 billion users per month

5. Android OS for mobile phones - 3 billion phones

6. Google Photos Cloud Storage - 1 billion user

7. Google Maps with advance features - 1 billion users/mo

8. Google G Suite (Sheets, Slides, Docs) -  2 billion users

9. Google AdSense Network - 38.3 million websites

10. Google Classroom - Jan 2022 - 600,000 downloads - largest ever

11. Chromebook OS for computers - 30 million sold a year

12 Google Play Store - Store has over 3.5 million apps

13. Google Drive - 1 billion users


Unintended Side Effects of the Google Invention - “ Gamers” and “BlackHat’s”

One of the unintended consequences of this invention as with any live ecosystem were the actions of the “Gamers” who try to rig the outcome of Google's search engine for better rankings, which lead to a new ecosystem called search engine optimization. This led to a wave of tools such as click bots that click on ads and links for better results, link farms that had links just for SEO results and the best of all were ad farms that were fake websites that linked to ads to scam the pay per click market that Google invented. Today, content marketing is being used as a SEO tool to improve Google rankings. As we know the better the rankings the more exposure you get. On top of this were all Black Hat Hacker threats that Google has had to deal with too.(Some critics said that Google took a blind eye to this activity in the early years of their existence)

When you are number 1, everybody is after you. 

Google has survived criticism, stealth attacks and USA style competition, but credit is due to the Google team to be the last company standing. The Google search engine can be considered today as part of the public domain and should not be owned by one company, but it is. It has evolved to become a day to day necessity for everyday life and will eventually be regulated in various countries in some form around the world. Yeah, Google has become a victim of their own success unfortunately, just ask the folks at Microsoft how it feels. When you are number 1, everybody is after you. 

Google’s risk taking nature is evident in some of their misses and they include Google+, their response to Facebook and Google Glass that came with a lot of hype and has faded away. Google has entered the hardware market with an Android Phone (Google PIxel) and Home Automation with Google Nest so they are branching out in other markets.
In the 2022 Annual Report Google (Now Alphabet) reported revenues of $257.6 billion. Google Advertising revenue was 209.7B or 81% of total revenue. Search Ads were $148.9B, YouTube $ 28.8B that was 85% of advertising revenue combined. The USA market contributed 46% of Google revenue. This is a big powerful company now and has gone through an incredible journey of innovation to get where they are today.

What Powers the Google Internet?

For the uniformed Google has 23 Data centers worldwide that provides their services with 14 in the USA, 1 in Chile, 6 in Europe and 2 in Asia. These are big facilities with lots of security and can range in size from 200,000 sq ft (4 BIg Box Stores) to 980,000 sq. ft. 

 Google is a carbon-neutral company for power use


The electricity demand of these types of facilities is enormous; it is estimated that all the Google data centers combined require the same amount of electricity 2 times the needs of the City of San Francisco and cost $10-$25 million a year to operate per data center. Google has become carbon neutral in their energy consumption through a 5 year sustainability strategy and in 2020 Google became carbon neutral for the first time and kudos should be given out for that achievement also.

Google’s success will face another chapter as they deal with their market dominance and the possible intervention from the USA government for Sherman Act (1890) anti-competitive measures. History has shown that when companies get too big they will intervene and this has happened in Telecom (AT&T 1984), Energy (Standard Oil 1909) and Tobacco (American Tobacco 1908). Google's Search Ads and Ad Sense network has driven local publishers to the brink of bankruptcy and this is a global issue.
Maybe history will repeat itself, but my guess is Google is already three steps ahead. Europe and Austrailia are already ahead of the curve and has introduced legislation to deal with privacy (use of cookies) and content creator rights in this new ecosystem that did not exist 25 years ago, Canada’s is now being debated.

About Me
Martin Seto

Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at) or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

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