updated 05:46 pm EDT, Fri June 22, 2012
Google may net $2.4 billion off video-sharing site
Google isn't shedding any light on how much money the company is pulling in from YouTube, but one analyst says that revenues for the video-sharing site may be massive. As AllThingsD has noted, Citi analyst Mark Mahaney pegs YouTube's 2012 gross revenues at more than $3.6 billion per year. That figure is more than twice the amount Mahaney predicted in 2011.
The analysis is based on estimates of Google's advertising revenues from YouTube. About $1.2 billion of the $3.6 billion figure would be distributed to Google's partners, meaning that YouTube would bring in a net revenue of $2.4 billion. Mahaney had previously estimated that YouTube would bring in $1.7 billion in 2012.
Mahaney's 2012 YouTube revenue estimate puts the site's earnings 50 percent higher than Yahoo's Display Advertising total and on par with Netflix' total subscription revenue.
The gain in revenues likely stems from Google's more aggressive stance toward ads on YouTube videos. The search company has been placing more ads with more videos, and they are being seen by more viewers. ComScore estimates that YouTube is seeing 20 percent quarter-after-quarter traffic growth, a massive figure given the site's current status as the world's largest video-sharing platform.
No matter how accurate Mahaney's figures prove to be, Google is pressing ahead with YouTube and aims to make the site into the 21st-century video platform. The company recently made a push to bring the biggest names in advertising on board with its channels initiative, which kicked off with a $200 million campaign aimed at getting YouTube to overtake cable television much in the same way that cable once overtook broadcast television. Just this month, Google announced that YouTube will be streaming the London 2012 Olympics to countries in Asia and Africa.