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YOUTUBE'S SECRET

Wondering how much YouTube generates in a year? Its parent company, Alphabet, will be releasing its quarterly financials this week, but the money generated by the video streamer will remain a secret, an issue that irks some investors.

In a lengthy piece, The New York Times guesses that YouTube pulls in between $16b to $25b, about the same as The Gap, General Mills or Netflix. At the last quarterly report, Alphabet blamed YouTube for its disappointing results without providing specifics.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told the Times:  “I think their reticence to provide information borders on paranoia, as if they would be admitting failure if they allowed us to discover whether one of their businesses was performing more poorly than expected.”

In a year that the government has pushed for greater transparency among tech companies, YouTube continues to hide behind a veil of secrecy when it comes to how it earns money.  According to the Times, YouTube accounts for about 20% of Google’s revenue based on investors’ math.

Four years ago, Amazon demonstrated how its Web Services were key to it turning a profit, which thrilled investors and analysts. On Thursday, Alphabet will have YouTube lumped in with Google search, the Google Play app store and Gmail.

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