YouTube's Revenue Revealed -- And It's Much Worse Than Expected

Susan Wojcicki Google Youtube Portrait IllustrationMike Nudelman/Business InsiderYouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

YouTube’s revenues were lighter than analysts expected, according toa new report from Amir Efrati at The Information.

Citing two sources, Efrati said gross revenue for Google from YouTube was $US3.5 billion in 2013. After payments to partners, net revenue was only $US1.5 billion. Efrati said YouTube is profitable.

Google never breaks out revenue figures for YouTube, so we’re left to rely on estimates and reports.

The $US3.5 billion is significantly behind forecasts. eMarketer thought YouTube would do $US5.6 billion in gross revenue in 2013. In 2012, Citi analyst Mark Mahaney predicted $US3.6 billion in gross revenue, and $US2.4 billion in net revenue.

It’s almost impossible to find a company comparable to YouTube. But, for some context, Netflix did $US4.3 billion in revenue last year (PDF link). Twitter, which is a user-generated content site similar to YouTube in some ways, did $665 million in revenue in 2013. ESPN, which is a traditional network, was forecast to do $US11 billion in 2013.

New YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki will be responsible for getting YouTube’s revenues to grow.

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