The old wisdom: YouTube (GOOG) dominates Web video but can’t make any money from it. Forbes’ wisdom: YouTube still doesn’t make much money, but a bit more than people think.
The mag says YouTube will make $200 million in revenue in 2008 and $350 million in 2009. These are unsourced numbers, but also not denied by YouTube head of content partnerships Jordan Hoffner, who participated in the story.
If true, that about doubles everyone else’s revenue estimates for YouTube, including the widely-quoted $90 million estimate from Bear Stearns analyst Bob Peck or Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker’s $75 million to $189 million estimate. How does YouTube get there?
- Front-page YouTube ad: $175,000 per day plus a commitment to spend at least $50,000 more on YouTube or Google.
- Branded YouTube channel: $200,000 apiece.
Even if Forbes is right and YouTube makes $200 million this year, let’s step back a minute and consider what that means: YouTube accounts for 73% of all visits to video sites (Hitwise) and, depending on who you believe, serves either 48% (Nielsen) or 38% (comScore) of all video on the Web. Meanwhile, eMarketer estimates $1.35 billion will be spent on Web video ads in 2008. So even though YouTube serves up the most videos, most of the money is going elsewhere — professional video sites like Hulu, TV network sites, etc.
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