Is YouTube -- which served up more than 12.2 billion in the U.S. alone in November -- finally going to start paying Google back some of the $1.65 billion the search giant paid to buy the firm in 2006? Barclays analyst Douglas Anmuth, in a note to investors, says it is.
He says an improving advertising environment is going to be key to YouTube's profitability, pointing out that 90 percent of the Ad Age Top 50 already are pushing ads on the site. Anmuth forecast an increase of revenue at YouTube of 55 percent year-over-year to $700 million in 2010.
"With strong sell-out rates on its home-page from larger advertisers ... we believe the site can profitably take share of the branded display and video market," he wrote.
YouTube has redefined what growth is, in relation to the video industry. The site in November showed a 139 percent increase year-over-year, delivering more than 12 times the number of videos than its nearest competitor, Hulu, which itself came close to the billion-views-a-month level in November with 924 million streams, a significant milestone. YouTube, though, is of a scale that no other online video property comes close to, and its brand is an industry touchstone.
- see this All Things Digital blog post
The ascent of Hulu (in the shadow of Google)
Nielsen: YouTube, Hulu boost December video numbers
YouTube's video might continues to grow in November