Another YouTube Revenue Guess: $1 Billion in 2011

Published on March 5, 2010
by Peter Kafka

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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