Whether their sales are up or down since COVID-19 lockdowns took hold, the last couple of months have been a pretty eventful time for many Internet companies.
Here's a look at a few notable disclosures shared in recent weeks by Internet companies. A prior article looking at disclosures from chip companies can be found here.
1. Roku Has Seen 'a Significant Increase' in Streaming Activity for Ad-Supported Services
Not surprisingly (given prior disclosures from the likes of Netflix (NFLX) and Disney (DIS) ), Roku (ROKU) said on its May 7 earnings call that it has seen strong viewing growth and sign-ups for subscription streaming services. However, the company also reported seeing "a significant increase" in the viewing of free/ad-supported streaming content, while noting that -- at a time when economic pressures and a lack of live sports have led cord-cutting to grow -- these services have seen strong viewing growth for both news and entertainment content.
Roku's own ad-supported service, known as The Roku Channel, was said to have seen triple-digit annual viewing growth in Q1 and reached households containing an estimated 36 million. Amazon.com has an ad-supported service known as IMDb TV, and Comcast, Fox Networks and Viacom have acquired ad-supported services.
2. PayPal's Money-Transfer Service Is Seeing Enormous User Growth
In addition to sharing strong transaction and active account figures for its core online payments services, PayPal (PYPL) disclosed on its May 6 earnings call that its Xoom money transfer/remittance payment unit (acquired for $890 million in 2015) has seen a 400% increase in net new active accounts since the January-February period, as consumers who are either reluctant or unable to go to a physical location to send or receive a remittance payment through a service provider such as Western Union (WU) rely on Xoom instead.
CEO Dan Schulman expressed optimism that many of Xoom's new users will keep using the service over the long run. "Once you use Xoom versus a traditional method, you are never going back. It is half as expensive. It is faster. It is easier to go and do," he said.
3. Cloudflare's Traffic Has Nearly Doubled
"We've seen Internet traffic use nearly double through March and April versus the beginning of the year," said Cloudflare (NET) CEO Matthew Prince on his company's May 7 earnings call. He added that the traffic handled by Cloudflare's content delivery network (CDN) for "educational and kids content, arts and crafts, and parenting content have all more than doubled," while traffic from sports, travel and real estate sites has declined.
A few days after Cloudflare's call, chip, optical component and materials supplier II-VI (IIVI) reported hearing from an unnamed major OEM that U.S. network traffic "increased in the first week of the nationwide shelter-in-place orders by more than the increase [seen during] the entire prior year."
4. Booking's 'Reported' Room Night Declines Have Topped 100%
On its May 7 Q1 call, Booking Holdings (BKNG) disclosed that its reported room nights were negative in both March and April, as the new bookings that it recorded were more than exceeded by cancellations. The online travel giant added that newly-booked room nights were down 85% in April, and that it expects its April revenue to decline by an even greater percentage due to cancellations.
Archrival Expedia (EXPE) offered similar commentary on Wednesday's Q1 call. The company disclosed that its new lodging books were down 85% annually at their low point in March and April, while declaring cancellations to have been "extremely high." Expedia did add (while cautioning not to get too excited about it) that it has "seen nice growth" from those depressed levels in May, and that cancellations "have settled down."