Another day, another in a string of increasingly-bullish YouTube revenue estimates. Now it’s Lehman Bros. turn: analyst Douglas Anmuth pegs YouTube’s 2008 revenue at “less than $200 million.” It was a backhanded compliment, couched in the not-new observation that YouTube won’t be “a signficant contributor of revenue in the near-term” to Google (GOOG). But this is still double the $90 to $100 million that many analysts throught YouTube would be making in 2008 earlier this year.
Over the last several weeks, estimates on YouTube revenue have floated upwards: Forbes predicted $200 million in 2008 (and $350 million in 2009) in May, only to be trumped last week by Citi’s Mark Mahaney, who said YouTube could generate $500 million in net revenue in 2009. Mahaney based his premise on display ads around the video, but Anmuth thinks YouTube is making progress with its in-video overlay ads, which are selling for a $20 CPM, and YouTube’s recent decision to allow producers to sell their own ads.
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