Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Revenue Doubled Last Year. Which Means…What?

True to form, Google didn’t offer much real insight into its operations during yesterday’s earnings call.

But pressed to talk about some of the company’s non-search businesses, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette did allow that YouTube’s revenues “more than doubled” last year.

That’s good to know! But also not a shock. Last quarter, when the company offered up a smattering of numbers to appease inquiring minds, it told us it had doubled the number of video views it was monetizing, to two billion a week.

So the real surprise would have been if YouTube revenues hadn’t doubled in the last year.

Meanwhile, trying to figure out the true size, and value, of YouTube remains a guessing game for the best-intentioned observers.

Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney, for instance, thinks YouTube’s gross revenue is on a $1 billion run rate, but figures that number could grow by as much as 50 percent this year. Barclays’ Doug Anmuth, though, offers up a slightly more modest estimate of $1 billion + for 2011.

Profits? Who knows.

One pretty safe guess: Google won’t be giving us real YouTube numbers we can chew on for quite some time.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”