Google Figures Out Another Use For YouTube: Earnings Webcasts

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If you’ve ever tried to listen in on a Google earnings call on the web, it’s kind of a pain. That’s especially true if you use a Mac because Google insists that you use either Real Player (which is awful on the Mac) or Windows Media Player (which doesn’t work on a Mac). Of course, you could always call into an actual phone number, but who does that anymore? Thankfully, for its Q4 2009 earnings being announced this afternoon, Google has made things easier.

Gone are the options to listen via Real Player or Windows Media Player. Instead, you have one option: Webcast on YouTube. Google has set up a YouTube account, GoogleIR (investor relations) that will host the earnings call and the follow-up Q&A session. All you need is a web browser with Flash installed to listen in. Currently, you’ll heard the traditional classical music that plays while everyone waits for the call to start.

And while it won’t be clear until it actually starts, it looks like Google could be taking advantage of the video aspect of this webcast as well. Google always releases slides alongside its earnings numbers to better illustrate results. It looks as if Google may run these slides during the call for a more interactive experience. Again, it’s not yet clear if that will actually happen, but that would be a good way to better illustrate what they are discussing — and a good use of YouTube for this type of thing.

Google’s earnings will be announced at 1:30 PM PT today. We’ll be listening in and following up with analysis. Most accounts have Google beating estimates relatively easily, despite the latest situations surrounding China and possibly their growing rivalry with Apple.