Google parent company Alphabet will report its fourth-quarter earnings today, and analysts believe the company may finally be ready to reveal how much money the world’s No. 1 video streaming site actually makes. Google has never disclosed the size of its YouTube business, but growing pressure from regulators and investors could change things in a bid to “illuminate a more diversified business” to investors. One analyst estimates that YouTube generated nearly $20 billion in revenue in 2018; last year, Morgan Stanley estimated YouTube to be worth $160 billion, seven times its expected 2019 revenue. Other earnings this week include Snap and Disney (Tuesday), Spotify and Sonos (Wednesday), and Twitter (Thursday). [Nick Bastone / Business Insider]
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Advertisers spent a record $5.2 million on each 30-second ad during the 2019 Super Bowl — that’s around $175,000 per second. But are they getting their money’s worth? The most memorable spots of the night were ones for brands like Budweiser and Bumble that did not just peddle products, but also sent powerful messages about issues like diversity and women’s empowerment — and robots — which are top of mind for many Americans. The New Yorker says the ads, cumulatively, are “a case study in digital dread.” Here’s a look at the ads you’re likely to remember; here’s a roundup in alphabetical order. [Kara Alaimo / CNN]
Spotify is in talks to buy Gimlet Media for more than $200 million in cash — one of the biggest acquisitions in the still-nascent podcasting industry. The move would be the first time Spotify has bought a content company; Brooklyn-based Gimlet produces a network of popular shows, including Reply All, and makes shows for advertisers like Gatorade. The streaming music giant, which has attempted to break into the video business without success, has started promoting podcasts to its 200 million users, who are already used to consuming audio from the service. And while the music business is controlled by three big companies that have real leverage when it comes to licensing their stuff, podcasting is in its early days and no one has a chokehold on podcast content. [Peter Kafka / Recode]
How do you turn around the culture of a 130,000-person company? Ask Satya Nadella, who is about to mark his fifth anniversary as CEO of Microsoft. Here’s a look back at how Nadella confronted and changed the corporation’s bellicose culture and redefined its mission, starting on the eve of his first public appearance as CEO, which would set a precedent for his tenure in the post. Over those five years and under a new North Star — a growth mindset — Microsoft’s share price has tripled; last November, its market capitalization briefly passed Apple’s, temporarily making Microsoft the most valuable company in the world. [Simone Stolzoff / Quartz]
Proving that you’re not a robot is getting harder and harder. Machine learning is now about as good as humans at the basic text, image, and voice recognition tasks called CAPTCHA — an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. The problem with many of these tests isn’t necessarily that bots are too clever — it’s that humans suck at them. All those awnings that may or may not be storefronts? There’s the endgame in humanity’s arms race with the machines. [Josh Dzieza / The Verge]
Top stories from Recode
Facebook is in trouble for secretly breaking Apple’s rules. But what it’s doing out in the open is way worse. The company’s planned merger of Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger into one system should alarm regulators, NYU’s Scott Galloway says on the latest Pivot podcast. [Kara Swisher]
Spencer Stuart executive recruiter James Citrin explains how to find a great CEO. On the latest Recode Decode, Citrin, who has placed top executives at companies like Yahoo, Twitter, and eBay, talks about his most recent book, The Career Playbook. [Kara Swisher]
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.