1,105.01 +12.51 (1.15%)
Pre-Market: 8:34AM EDT
|Bid||1,100.00 x 800|
|Ask||1,107.69 x 1800|
|Day's Range||1,086.28 - 1,099.18|
|52 Week Range||970.11 - 1,289.27|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.14|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||27.41|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter explains why the Department of Defense needs to up its game and recruit tech talent from Silicon Valley.
In the first part of our series on the future of big tech, Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi debate the calls to split up the tech giants with Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer and Rick Newman.
When it comes to inflation, Federal Reserve officials resemble the characters Estragon and Vladimir in Samuel Beckett’s existential play “Waiting for Godot.”
E3 2019 brought us plenty of news about cloud gaming. Here's where the major playings including Google, Microsoft, and Sony stack up.
Slack Technologies Inc. is looking for a better direct-listing fate than Spotify Technology SA. The music-streaming service reminded tech unicorns late last year that companies don’t have to issue new shares or raise money through a traditional offering if they wish to go public, and now Slack is following in its footsteps. The business-chat company filed direct-listing paperwork on Friday.
(Bloomberg) -- Nearly half the world’s electricity will come from renewable energy by 2050 as costs of wind, solar and battery storage continue to plummet.That titanic shift over the next three decades will come as electricity demand increases 62% and investors pump $13.3 trillion into new projects, according to a report released Tuesday by BloombergNEF.The move away from fossil fuel has sweeping implications for energy markets and the fight to stave off climate change. Wind, solar and batteries are poised to enable the power sector to meet its share of emission cuts required under the Paris climate agreement, at least until 2030, according to BNEF. But after that, nations will need other technologies to make deeper cuts at a reasonable cost, said Matthias Kimmel, the lead analyst on the report.“To get emissions where we want them to be, we need something else,” Kimmel said in an interview.By 2050, solar and wind will supply almost 50% of the world’s electricity, with hydro, nuclear and other renewable energy resources providing another 21%, according to BNEF. Coal will be the biggest loser in the power sector, with its share of global generation plunging from 37% today to 12% in 2050, BNEF said. Those other renewables could include geothermal systems, fuel cells and devices that harvest energy from ocean waves and tides. But it’s unclear which, if any, will be economical to deploy on a mass scale. And other low-emission technologies could be developed between now and 2030.BNEF forecasts that many nations can cut power-sector emissions through 2030 in line with goals set in Paris to limit the increase in world temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). And they can do that without additional subsidies for solar and wind, BNEF said.Since 2010, the cost of wind power has dropped by 49%, and solar has plummeted 85%, according to BNEF. That makes them cheaper than new coal or gas plants in two-thirds of the world. Battery storage costs, meanwhile, have dropped 85% since 2010.If the world is to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector, technologies including carbon capture and storage, hydrogen power and solar thermal plants will compete to provide about 13,000 terawatt hours of generation by 2050, according to BNEF. That’s equivalent to about half of all electricity produced today. And even if every nation scrubs emissions from the power sector, there are still ample greenhouse gases from cars, trucks, ships, airplanes, heating systems and agriculture.Europe LeadsEurope is taking the lead on the shift to renewables, which will supply 92% of the region’s electricity by 2050.China and India, which are still adding coal plants to their grids, will both get almost two-thirds of their power from mostly solar and wind by then.The U.S. will get just 43% of its power from renewables by 2050, according to BNEF.To contact the reporters on this story: Millicent Dent in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Christopher Martin in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joe RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Facebook Inc.’s planned cryptocurrency is going to need more friends to work.On Tuesday, the social media giant announced it had signed up 27 partners to develop and administer Libra, a digital medium of exchange for use on its apps and beyond. Uber Technologies Inc., Spotify Inc., Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. are all taking part – but there’s a notable absence of banks, large retailers and consumer goods companies, whose massive marketing budgets are the staple of ad agencies worldwide.This matters because Facebook is, above all else, an advertising platform. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has to prove that Libra will deliver more value to brands than their current advertising setup. Judging by this initial list of partners, a lot of firms appear unconvinced. The company wants to sign up a total of 100 by the time the coin starts next year. It will need every one of them, and more.For Zuckerberg, the best possible outcome is that the coin, which is tied to a basket of foreign currencies, keeps both users and brands locked into the Menlo Park, California-based firm’s ecosystem.In theory, a user might receive a token for watching an ad, which they then spend on something they have also seen advertised on Facebook. The company selling the product could then use that token to buy more ad space on the social network, and so the cycle would start anew. That would mean that, even if Zuckerberg had to spend a little bit more to keep his users engaged, the money would ultimately flow back into his company’s coffers.For brands, the big question is just how much data from that process will Facebook be willing to share? You can see why companies might be wary about signing up on day one. Facebook and its family of apps – Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger – are already something of a walled garden when it comes to advertisers. They regularly complain that they have little visibility over what they call the journey of their customers: What ads did customers see before making a purchase or clicking through to a website? That anonymized data allows them to gauge whether an approach works or not.Many purchases happen on brands’ own websites right now, which is a problem for Facebook, since it doesn’t know itself when a user has decided to buy something. Knowing what exactly prompts a purchase would help the company target future ad campaigns more effectively. Starting its own digital wallet – Calibra – should allow it to plug that gap by inserting itself into the middle of consumers’ transactions. Facebook has said that it won’t use financial data to target ads, but the wallet will nonetheless surely be optimized to execute purchases from within one of its platforms.The model here is Amazon.com Inc. The e-commerce giant knows almost every stage of an online shopper’s journey to purchasing an item, allowing it to target them with precision. That’s a threat to both Facebook and Google’s advertising models, and goes a long way to explaining why Zuckerberg is so keen to make friends. To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. made a renewed push into payments on Tuesday, announcing plans for a cryptocurrency called Libra.Read More: Facebook Wants Its Cryptocurrency to One Day Rival the GreenbackIt will be governed by the Libra Association, a group of companies that will have an equal say in how the cryptocurrency is managed. Almost 30 firms have joined and Facebook hopes another 70 or more will enter the fold in the future.Who’s In:Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., the world’s largest payments networks, as well as PayPal Holdings Inc. are on board. For Visa and Mastercard, it’s a chance to offer the world of cryptocurrencies the same services they provide in card payments. All three companies know the challenges of building a network and can offer expertise in encouraging consumers to use the instrument and cajoling merchants into accepting it.Companies such as Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., and Spotify Technology SA keep millions of credit cards on file, and they risk losing customers when people get a new card or number. E-commerce firms also pay higher "card not present" rates when processing payments, so anything that can reduce these expenses is welcome.“Libra has the potential to bridge the gap between traditional financial networks and new digital currency technology, while reducing the costs for everyone,” said Peter Hazlehurst, head of payments at Uber.International companies, including e-commerce firm MercadoLibre Inc. and telecom giant Vodafone Group Plc, signed onto Libra, too. Blockchain technology and stablecoins are potential solutions for the messy world of cross-border payments, which suffers from delays and high costs.Who’s out:Large banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., already have their own payments businesses that reap billions of dollars in fees. With regulators still deciding how to treat cryptocurrencies, banks and investment firms are treading cautiously.So far, no large brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Target Corp. and Walmart Inc., are taking part. The industry is always interested in lowering the cost of accepting payments, but traditional merchants have historically been hesitant to accept cryptocurrencies due to volatility and lack of consumer adoption.The largest U.S. technology companies, Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc., are noticeably absent. Many of these firms have their own digital payments businesses and some are experimenting with blockchain technology. Apple has poured scorn on Facebook for repeated privacy missteps and other big tech firms are trying to avoid being associated with the social-media giant.Square Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey is a cryptocurrency fan, but even his firm isn’t part of Libra at launch. Square’s cryptocurrency team made its first hire last week and it’s Cash App is a popular way for consumers to buy and sell Bitcoin.Here’s the full list of founding members and partners:Andreessen Horowitz Anchorage Bison Trails Booking Holdings Inc.Breakthrough Initiatives Facebook’s CalibraCoinbase Inc.EBay Inc. Farfetch Ltd.Iliad SA’s Free Lyft Inc.Mastercard MercadoLibre Inc.’s Mercado Pago PayPal Naspers Ltd.’s PayURibbit Capital Spotify Technology SAStripe Inc.Thrive Capital Union Square Ventures Uber Visa Vodafone Group Xapo Creative Destructive Lab Kiva Mercy Corps Women’s World Banking To contact the reporters on this story: Jenny Surane in New York at email@example.com;Julie Verhage in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Facebook, Google and Twitter have launched the first industry-wide initiative with global advertising agencies and brands to “rapidly improve digital safety”, as tech platforms come under increasing scrutiny from regulators over the spread of harmful content. The tech companies, ad agencies including WPP, Publicis and Omnicom, and global brands such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever, on Tuesday said they wanted more to be done to “address harmful and misleading content” and to develop a “concrete set” of protocols to protect people and brands online.
(Bloomberg) -- Magic Leap Inc., a U.S. startup that makes a headset to project digital objects onto the real world, accused one of its former engineers of stealing its technology to create his own augmented reality device for China.In a lawsuit filed Monday, Magic Leap alleges that Chi Xu, who left in 2016, exploited its confidential information to “quickly develop a prototype of lightweight, ergonomically designed, mixed reality glasses for use with smart phones and other devices that are strikingly similar” to the Florida-based startup’s designs.The lawsuit marks the latest accusation from an American firm of intellectual property theft by Chinese companies, a perennial sore point that’s helped escalate tensions between the world’s two largest economies. With more than $2 billion in financing, Magic Leap is one of the better-funded startups delving into so-called augmented or mixed reality, a technology that gives users the illusion that fantastical, three-dimensional digital objects exist in the physical world.Xu, who founded Beijing-based Hangzhou Tairuo Technology Co., also known as Nreal, unveiled his own augmented reality glasses at a major Las Vegas trade show in January, touting them as lighter than the Magic Leap One, Forbes has reported.Apart from Magic Leap, Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are also developing products for virtual or augmented reality. It remains to be seen whether anyone can turn the area into a big money-spinner.Magic Leap released its headset last August after seven years of secretive work and more than $2 billion of investment. The startup alleges that Xu plotted during his roughly 13 months working there to launch his own competing company in China and “neglected his work duties” to acquire proprietary information.“Whereas Nreal purported to develop its Nreal Light product in under two years, Magic Leap developed its technology after extensive investment of time (multiple years), money (hundreds of millions of dollars spent on research and development) and human resources (hundreds of engineers),” according to the complaint.Xu is accused in the suit of breach of contract, fraud and unfair competition. Nreal is also named as a defendant. Representatives at Nreal had no immediate comment on the lawsuit, while Xu did not respond to a message sent to his LinkedIn account.The case is Magic Leap Inc. v. Xu, 19-cv-03445, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).\--With assistance from Zheping Huang.To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Blumberg in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin Chan, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
French healthcare company Sanofi has teamed up with Google to work on innovations, aimed at using emerging data technologies to change how medicines and health services will be delivered in future. Sanofi and Google will use data sets to improve their understanding of key diseases and extract patients' insights and feedback, the companies said in a joint statement. "Combining Sanofi's biologic innovations and scientific data with Google's industry-leading capabilities, from cloud computing to state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, we aspire to give people more control over their health and accelerate the discovery of new therapies," said Ameet Nathwani, chief medical officer and executive vice-president, Sanofi.
(Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google will bring its artificial-intelligence and cloud-computing capabilities to a new partnership with pharma giant Sanofi.The project is aimed at accelerating the discovery of new medicines, increasing the understanding of what treatments work for patients and making Sanofi’s operations more efficient, the Paris-based drugmaker said in a statement Tuesday. The companies didn’t provide financial details.The pact is the latest sign of increasing collaboration between the technology and health-care industries. Pharma companies like Sanofi are teaming up with AI specialists, hiring data scientists or even snapping up tech startups in a bid to become faster and more efficient as costs rise.The new partnership will allow Sanofi to come up with more personalized approaches to treatment, the company said. The drugmaker and Google also plan to apply artificial intelligence to forecast sales and improve marketing and supply efforts.To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Timothy AnnettFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
On the corner of Hopeland Street in Dayton, Ohio — the epicentre of the US opioid epidemic — an old tool factory has been revived. Painted in bright greens and whites, and furnished with comfy chairs and a ping-pong table, the OneFifteen campus looks more like a tech company than a healthcare facility.
(Bloomberg) -- Since Japan launched its first deep space probe in 1985, the photographs have been taken in a relatively low-tech way, by pointing cameras at objects in the cosmos and letting them run. Whatever is captured gets sent back to Earth, where people cull the material for the most beautiful shots.Problem is, this dragnet approach uses up precious bandwidth and batteries. So Japan’s space agency is experimenting with a camera that’s more discriminating: It decides which pics have the best light, angle and composition, and beams back only those. Using artificial intelligence on powerful, large computers? That’s no big deal. But it’s a lot harder on a tiny spacecraft with its serious energy constraints.Enter LeapMind Inc., a Tokyo company specialized in “edge computing,” or running computations not on a central server or even a PC, but on remote devices with limited processing power and no internet connection. The idea is to bring AI to traffic lights, security cameras, home appliances—or even the odd space probe.Artificial intelligence can do amazing things, but it’s still rare because the math takes enormous computing power and loads of electricity. This means driverless cars must be something akin to data centers on wheels, with dozens of processors that can get hot enough to boil water. Edge computing promises to make AI work inside the thousands of smaller gadgets and machines in people’s homes and offices.“The hurdles to putting AI in actual products are really high,” said LeapMind’s founder, Soichi Matsuda, 36. “There are all kinds of severe limitations: price, power-consumption, dealing with exhaust heat.”LeapMind is just one of dozens of companies working on edge computing. Google and Amazon.com have led the way, but last year venture capital firms invested about $750 million in startups working in the field, according to CB Insights, up 26% from the previous year. In 2017, a group led by Intel Capital invested $10 million in LeapMind.They’re all seeking to drastically simplify the way AI works, so that everyday devices can take voice commands, respond to gestures and see the world around them. The technology would enable a home security camera to tell family members from strangers or allow sensors sewn into clothing to track your health, without sending private information to the cloud.“Edge AI is becoming more and more important, especially in areas where latency, power consumption, connectivity and security matter,” said Anthony Lin, senior managing director at LeapMind investor Intel Capital.In order to understand what makes edge computing so difficult, it helps to recall your high school algebra. Each variable in a typical AI algorithm is built out of a 32-digit string of ones and zeros that allows for 4.3 billion possible combinations. (They look like this: 0010001001000.0000101001000010110.) The detail is what gives AI its predictive power.The trick in edge computing is shaving down the numbers so they can be processed by smaller chips, but without losing too much precision. It’s a challenge because for every digit that’s lopped off, there’s an exponential loss in expressiveness.This is why even the smallest achievements in edge computing are treated as major victories. In March, for example, when Google announced it finally managed to get a speech-recognition function to run offline on its smartphones, at least one Google engineer called the effort “heroic.” For most users the difference is probably unnoticeable, but making it work without being connected to the internet required chopping the program’s variables down from 32 to 8 digits, or bits.LeapMind is working at a level that’s orders of magnitude smaller, just 1 or 2 bits, according to Matsuda. It’s the computer science equivalent of boiling the English language down to just four words and somehow still being able to convey a lot of meaning.“When we started working on this in 2015, we knew that someone like Google would eventually do 8 bits,’’ Matsuda said. “So we had to aim higher.’’The techniques developed by LeapMind are sufficient for many, but not all tasks. You couldn’t run a driverless car with them, for example. But they’d be useful for driver-assist functions or other less-exacting work.Which brings us back to the space agency’s photography problem.As it stands, JAXA’s probes can’t devote scarce computing power to getting visually-pleasing photos, no matter how valuable they are for PR purposes, because it would come at the expense of doing actual science. The photos that the public sees now have been taken in the process of doing other work, not specifically for their beauty.That’s why JAXA researcher Takayuki Ishida decided to try using LeapMind’s tools to build a smart camera. He started by taking 10,000 photos of planet and probe models, shot from different angles and with different juxtapositions, and ranking them in terms of aesthetic appeal.Then he used LeapMind’s software to create a pattern-matching algorithm that learned to differentiate between good photos and bad ones. The code was compact enough to run on a single chip that consumed no more electricity than a 10-watt light bulb.JAXA declined to comment, but Ishida described his experiments in a paper he presented at a February conference held by LeapMind.If the system works, it would be a small step forward for space exploration and perhaps a big leap for everyday devices closer to home.“If you want to add AI to a television or a laptop or any other existing product, you have to re-design things from scratch because most of the power supply is already spoken for,’’ said LeapMind’s Matsuda. “Power is the big constraint.’’To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jason Clenfield, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Uber’s disruptive technology, explosive growth, and constant controversy make it one of the most fascinating companies to emerge over the past decade.Uber's journey to becoming the world's most highly valued a private startup.
Chinese stocks have taken a big hit from the trade war, with the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE: FXI) down 13.8% in the past year. BrandZ recently released its Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list for 2019. Meituan is an online-to-offline e-commerce service platform with 600 million users and 4.5 million business partners throughout China.
Micron (NASDAQ:MU) has been having a less than stellar 2019. At this point one year ago, MU stock was trading near $60. On Friday, it capped a week of losses with Micron stock closing at $32.66, sliding another 2.16%. The company is being hit by the usual cyclical nature of the DRAM business, its primary revenue generator. But what's spooking many investors is the China effect.Source: Micron This is something relatively new, and what's making it even worse for MU than other U.S. chipmakers is that the trade war has spurred Chinese competition that will end up eating into its core business even when the current spat is over. The Cyclical Nature of DRAMDynamic random-access memory is a key component of technology ranging from computers to smartphones to smart cars. American chipmaker Micron is the world's third-largest supplier of DRAM, after a pair of South Korean companies: First-place is Samsung and second-place is SK Hynix. DRAM is Micron's core product, and primary source of revenue.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsMost investors in MU stock recognize that the DRAM market tends to be cyclical in nature. Demand for the products that rely on the component goes up and down, that has a big impact on MU revenue. In 2017, global demand for DRAM was high, as companies like Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google expanded their server capacity in the race for artificial intelligence dominance. High demand pushed up DRAM prices, and revenue for companies like Micron. As a result, MU stock was approaching the $50 level as 2017 closed out. The party continued in early 2018 -- Micron stock topped $61 -- before the bottom began to fall out of the DRAM market. * The 10 Best Index Funds to Buy and Hold With smartphone sales beginning to decline, the shortage of DRAM turned into a glut and prices fell. When Micron reported its Q2 2019 earnings, DRAM prices had declined over 20% from the previous quarter and demand was down. As a result, its DRAM revenue dropped from $5.2 billion in Q2 2018 to $3.74 billion. DRAM demand is expected to recover -- remember it's a cyclical business -- but not until into 2020. MU Stock Hit by the Trade WarRoughly half of Micron's revenue comes from the Chinese market. The company said earlier this year that China's Huawei alone accounts for 13% of its annual revenue. As the trade war with China heats up, more of MU's revenue is at risk -- its DRAM gets more expensive for Chinese companies to buy, it's not allowed to sell at all to some, the Chinese government may push some customers to buy from non-U.S. suppliers and reduced demand in the U.S. for the final products further reduces demand for DRAM. As the trade war with China escalated in May, MU stock dropped nearly 25%. China's Changxin Memory a Long-Term Threat for Micron StockThe latest blow to Micron stock is again related to China. Last week the Nikkei Asian Review reported that China's Changxin Memory is on the verge of becoming the country's first mass-producer of DRAM.The company has invested $8 billion in a new chip plant, and is using a new design for its DRAM based on a bankrupt German chipmaker -- thus avoiding U.S. charges of intellectual property theft. Initial production is expected to be 10K wafers a month, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the 1.3 million wafers currently produced globally. However, when Changxin Memory ramps up production its output could add to the global DRAM glut, further lowering already depressed prices. And as a native Chinese producer of DRAM, it is positioning itself to replace America's Micron as a supplier for Chinese tech companies like Huawei.There's nothing but downside for MU stock in that news, which goes a long way toward explaining Friday's drop. As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * The 7 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today * 4 Semiconductor Stocks to Sell Compare Brokers The post Micron Stock Is in the Crosshairs As China Threatens Its DRAM Business appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- In late May, the advocacy group Common Sense Media held a summit on “digital well-being.” Attendees gathered inside the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, to debate the long-term effects of apps, services and electronic devices once hailed as revolutionary. The final panel was devoted to content deemed “NSFK,” or “not safe for kids.”What was supposed to be a roundtable discussion functioned more like a public drubbing of YouTube. The video site, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is in the news every week for the inane, upsetting or harmful videos involving children. A decade ago, fretful parents worried about video games and slasher films—but today, YouTube incites greater fear. “Now parents say, ‘Bring me the violent movie,’” Jill Murphy, editor-in-chief of Common Sense, said on stage. “It’s better than a Google search box.”Alicia Blum-Ross, YouTube’s policy chief for kids and family, tried to convince the room that her company was getting quality content to kids. It has spent the past year throwing resources at child safety. YouTube has recruited staff and set up an outside advisory council. Last fall, the company hired Blum-Ross, an anthropologist, and speaking on the panel, she ticked off recent product upgrades – an option for screened kids’ videos only, more parental controls, smarter software. “We’ve actually made a lot of strides,” she said. In the first quarter of 2019, the company removed more than 800,000 videos for violations of its child safety policy.Blum-Ross then touted YouTube’s supposed panacea: YouTube Kids. The app, created four years ago, filters videos from the main site specifically for children under thirteen, who are protected by federal law from forms of digital data collection. The app has faced criticism – that it’s too addictive, lowbrow and unedited -- but YouTube Kids is, relatively speaking, a haven from the dangers of the open web and YouTube.com. “We strongly encourage parents that the general site is not made for kids,” Blum-Ross said.What Blum-Ross didn’t mention, however, is that not many kids use YouTube Kids, and those who do don’t stick around. Several of the most popular channels on the main site, which has more than 2 billion monthly users, specialize in programming designed for young kids, but that doesn’t mean they are free of advertising or screened for safety. One, Cocomelon, a channel of nursery rhymes, has more than 50 million subscribers. That’s double the weekly audience for all of YouTube Kids, which is used by more than 20 million people a week, according to a company spokesperson. (Much of the audience for a channel like Cocomelon could be parents trying to keep up with popular rhymes, a spokesperson said.)Children who do watch YouTube Kids tend to shift over to YouTube’s main site before they hit thirteen, according to multiple people at YouTube familiar with the internal data. One person who works on the app said the departures typically happen around age seven. In India, YouTube’s biggest market by volume, usage of the Kids app is negligible, according to this employee. These people asked not to be identified discussing private information. Once kids leave, they don’t come back. “Many parents have expressed that their child refuses to go back to YouTube Kids,” said Jenny Radesky. Radesky is a University of Michigan assistant professor of pediatrics and an expert on childhood development, and was also on the panel held by Common Sense Media. “It’s too baby-ish, too restrictive. Now that they’ve let the genie out of the bottle with YouTube main, it’s hard to reverse course,” she said in an interview.YouTube said it is working to bring its Kids app to as many families as possible, and has created restricted versions of the full video service so parents can screen clips for their kids when they watch together. At the Code Conference last week, Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki addressed safety. “I’ve been really clear that that responsibility is my No. 1 priority,” she said. “There is a lot of work for us to do. I acknowledge that, but I also know that we have tremendous tools at our fingertips that we can continue to invest in to do a better job.”In an interview with CNN, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged the tension between free speech and hateful content on YouTube. “It is definitely one of the hardest things. In some ways, companies alone aren't fully equipped to handle problems like that, so I think there is a lot of work ahead,” he said.Solving the kids problem is at the top of a growing list of headaches for the world’s largest video site. In just the past few weeks, the company has been accused of radicalizing young voters and ignoring harassment of gay people. YouTube has spent years chasing engagement on its service and ignored internal calls to address toxic videos, as Bloomberg previously reported, and it’s a habit that continues to irritate rank-and-file staff inside the tech giant. Four people at Google privately admitted that they don’t let their kids watch YouTube unsupervised and said the sentiment was widespread at the company. One of these people said frustration with YouTube has grown so much that some have suggested the division spin off altogether to preserve Google’s brand.Yet YouTube is under limited pressure to change its ways. While YouTube is facing competition for younger viewers from Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc., it isn’t at risk of losing the audience. Some 97 percent of children have used YouTube, either the main site or the kids app, according Insight Strategy Group, a market research firm that polled 1,200 American families about online behavior this year. (The poll did not distinguish between the kids app and the main site; Chumsky said they stopped asking parents about YouTube Kids because many parents didn’t understand the difference.) Children from five to twelve reported spending more time on YouTube than anywhere else, including Fortnite and Instagram. “Basically, every kid who doesn’t live in Amish country,” said Sarah Chumsky, vice president for the research firm. YouTube said it’s working on digital well-being: curbing kids’ screen time with features like a “take a break” icon that reminds viewers to stop watching. “We’re changing our metrics,” Blum-Ross told the crowd in Mountain View. But she admitted the company hasn’t figured out how to implement those without sacrificing too much of its business.“How do we measure success when success is actually using our products less?” she asked.YouTube Kids went live in a moment of optimism for tech, and for Google. The search giant introduced the app, in February, 2015, as the first of its “tech for tykes” initiative. At first, the plan was to hand-pick videos and charge a fee. Google, at the time, was plotting more subscriptions businesses and it planned to bundle the Kids app with other services like music and gaming, according to former staffers involved.But the deals needed for the bundles never formed. And the plan to limit what videos appeared ran counter to YouTube’s ethos: Users dictate all. A former executive, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters, recalled surveying a father whose son loved watching airplanes take off on YouTube. The clips were unusual for kid’s programming, but didn’t seem harmful. If younger viewers found thousands of these niches, YouTube’s staff couldn’t keep up with manual curation. Software could. So the app launched with algorithmic sorting like YouTube’s main site.YouTube designed the app with a focus on pre-schoolers. Viewers that open the app are met with dancing cartoons, and most of the library is filled with millions of hours of footage of nursery rhymes and popular “unboxing” toy clips. YouTube staff thought that older kids would still use the main site and there was no reason to target them beyond managing legal liabilities, according to a media executive who consulted with YouTube on the formation of the Kids app.Less than three months after launching, though, child and consumer advocacy groups found inappropriate content on the app, including explicit sexual language and jokes about pedophilia.Over the years, YouTube has made several attempts to better handle its ocean of kid’s content. One way it did that was to turn to humans – not as curators or screeners, but as “genre-taggers.” Starting in 2017, staff were assigned to categorize clips based on twelve fields, such as “music,” “play” and “toy unboxing,” according to someone who worked on the project. YouTube has squads of people that sift out videos in violation of its policies, but this team was focused on lumping together videos by subject. Employees usually tagged the videos within ninety seconds, although many took far longer. The former staffer recalled seeing a 10 hour upload of the viral Baby Shark video, on loop. In late 2017, those jobs were moved to Hyderabad, India.Despite the changes, YouTube has avoided mirroring Disney or Netflix, which rely on established production companies and review videos before making them available. YouTube conducted a trial recently to see the impact of hand-picking every video that appears in the Kids app. It’s something critics have proposed; many of the app’s scandals involve kids stumbling onto user-generated videos that would not have snuck past careful human censors. In the internal trials, however, kids between seven and 12 grew bored of the limited library and went to surf regular YouTube, according to people familiar with the test. YouTube would like to put the onus on parents to manage their kids, much as it expects copyright holders to flag pirated material and users to flag inappropriate content. Parents can choose to only let their kids watch programming from certain channels, like Sesame Street and PBS Kids, according to a spokesperson. But most parents feel powerless to monitor their kids’ use of YouTube, according to Radesky, the Michigan researcher who studies how young kids use technology, searching for ways to prevent mental illness, chronic pain and improve child-parent relations. The company also likes to point out how much educational content is consumed. But external research shows that kids, particularly tweens, like very different kinds of videos. Older kids watch music videos, stunts, reaction clips (“Funny Baby Try Lemon First Time”) and movie trailers, Insight Strategy Group found. They prefer “prank and humor” videos the most. Radesky has managed to limit her two kids’ use of YouTube thus far, directing them instead to PBS Kids and Netflix. “The algorithm is promoting whatever gets clicked on the most and that isn’t going to promote content that is best for kids at that stage of development,” she said. “It will promote the junk food kids love.” Karen Green, a writer who lives southwest of Toronto, kept her two daughters away from YouTube until they turned 10. At that point, they got iPads, and were allowed to use regular YouTube. Green didn’t understand the point of YouTube Kids. She thought parents shouldn’t limit their kids’ interest to things that are only for children. “YouTube Kids is an unfair thing to do unless kids are super little,” she said.But it didn’t take long for Green to regret her decision. One day her daughter came to her horrified because following different videos on YouTube had led her to a website for Furries, a subculture of people interested in dressing up as animals (and having sex with people dressed up as animals). “We were angry it was so easy to get to a place where she was so uncomfortable,” Green said.That experience was the impetus for Green to buy a device called Circle, a rectangular box parents can attach to their computers to limit the amount of time their kids spend online. Green hooked Circle up to her modem, and placed a 30-minute limit on her kids’ screen time. As soon her kids use YouTube for 30 minutes, the computer turns off. The device also has a content filter that blocks certain types of videos, though it is, in Green’s estimation, a loose filter. Green receives updates on her kids’ activity and can control the device using an app on her phone.Green would like to see YouTube do more to filter out inappropriate content, or deliver warnings when users are going beyond filters. “YouTube is the app parents hate the most and kids love the most,” she said. Critics and business partners have also called for implementing ratings and review processes. But YouTube doesn’t want to change the way it’s wired, as an open platform largely edited by software. “That’s their operating system,” said Mat Baxter, global chief executive officer for Initiative, an advertising agency. “But when it comes to children, there is no margin of error.” (Updates with comment from Google CEO in the ninth paragraph. A previous version of the story corrected the number of families surveyed by Insight Strategy Group.)To contact the authors of this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at email@example.comLucas Shaw in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Biuso at email@example.com, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.