Google CEO Sudhar Pichai said the company's Google One cloud storage service is about to cross 100 million subscribers.
Pichai said during Alphabet's Q4 2023 earnings call that the company is looking to add more AI-powered features to the Google One service. The search giant first launched Google One in 2018. The product has evolved since then and has added perks including Google Photos editing features like Magic Eraser, Portrait Light and Portrait Blur, Color Pop and Sky Suggestion.
Google One plans start at $1.99 per month, giving you 100GB of storage that can be shared with up to five people and access to its VPN service in the US
Pichai noted that Google's overall subscription business, including YouTube Premium and Music, YouTube TV and Google One, has soared and surpassed $15 billion in annual revenue. This is a 5x jump compared to 2019, the company said. It also said the “Subscriptions, Platforms and Devices” vertical posted 23% year-over-year growth, driven by strong subscription performance.
Google last stated that YouTube had 80 million paid plans in November 2022. But since then there is no other update. The company claims that YouTube shorts are watched by 2 billion signed-in users each month and 7 billion daily plays — numbers cited in Google's Q3 2023 results.
Earlier this month, Google laid off nearly 1,000 employees in divisions including hardware, engineering and services, and 100 from YouTube. Later, Pichai sent an internal memo to staff saying more jobs would be cut this year.
Notably, in its earnings release, Google said it had 182,502 employees, slightly more than the 182,381 employees reported in its Q3 earnings release. However, this number is significantly lower than the 190,234 employees at the end of 2022.
Google's ad revenue of $65.5 billion fell short of analysts' estimates of $65.8 billion, but still rose 11% year over year. The company's stock fell 4% due to this miss.