Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another YouTube Revenue Guess: $1 Billion in 2011

Since Google releases almost no information about YouTube’s financial performance, the best we can do is make educated guesses. Here’s another one: The word’s biggest video site will generate over $1.1 billion in revenue by 2011, and Google will keep about $700 million of that.

This estimate comes from Citigroup’s (C) Mark Mahaney, who notes that the site continues to grow and that it is placing more ads on more videos. No news there.

Mahaney is good enough to explain the logic behind his estimate, and it’s a fairly simple one: He takes MySpace’s revenue-to-page view ratio and applies it to YouTube (see table below; click to enlarge).

So if you want to play analyst, you can tweak Mahaney’s math based on your own assumptions. If you think Google (GOOG) is doing a better or worse job at selling ads than News Corp.’s (NWS) site, you might want to adjust the estimates accordingly.

Or if you believe YouTube generates much more traffic than comScore (SCOR) counts–and this is what YouTube’s people are fond at hinting at, though they never really come out and say it–you could tweak it again.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald