Google’s studied secrecy about the revenue generated by their video site, YouTube, only fuels further curiosity and speculation on the subject. The latest to offer an opinion and some estimated figures on the topic is Mark Mahaney of the Citigroup.
According to Mahaney’s estimates, YouTube will generate about $945 million this year, of which $614 million will be net revenue or profit. He further expects that the largest online video site will continue to grow and will generate over $1.1 billion next year, of which over $700 million will be net profit.
Mahaney explains that he has arrived at these figures by applying the same revenue-to-page view ratio on the stats available for YouTube that fellow video sharing site, MySpace, uses.
Patrick Walker, who is a director of video partnerships for Google and YouTube, also believes that YouTube is doing pretty well for itself. According to him, the fact that YouTube has the ability to make lots of users see its ads makes the site inherently very profitable. Also, the fact that they help to sell a lot of CDs and DVDs is very helpful to build a marketing case for YouTube.
Google, as usual, has not yet made any official comment on the matter.