Analyst: YouTube to Make $3.6 Billion This Year

In a research note, Citi Analyst Mark Mahaney says YouTube will generate $3.6 billion for Google in 2012. Last year, the Wall Street analyst had forecasted the video-sharing site’s 2012 revenue at $1.7 billion.

Why is he now twice as bullish?

Because YouTube’s traffic is growing at a 20 percent clip per quarter, according to comScore, and it is steadily placing more ads inside videos.

Mahaney says Google will keep $2.4 billion of the $3.6 billion, per YouTube’s revenue-sharing agreement with partners. He adds that this makes the video giant 50 percent bigger than Yahoo’s display business and exactly in line with Netflix’s total subscription revenue.

“We really doubt whether most investors realize how big/important YouTube has become,” he says. 

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