The latest is eMarketer, which has published its first estimates for YouTube's advertising revenues today. The company predicts that YouTube's gross ad revenues will rise 51.4% to $5.6bn in 2013, accounting for 11.1% of Google's total.
Once YouTube has paid ad partners and video creators their share, its net ad revenues are still expected to reach $1.96bn this year, up 65.5% compared to 2012's $1.18bn.
eMarketer has also broken out YouTube's net ad revenues in the US, estimating that they'll reach $1.08bn in 2013, with $850m of those coming from video advertisements. The company thinks this will give YouTube a 20.5% share of all US video advertising revenues for the year.
"Predicts", "estimates", "thinks" – this is all guesswork, so why should people trust eMarketer's analysis? The company says it is informed guesswork based on "hundreds of datapoints and studies about YouTube revenues, ad impressions, rates, usage and other factors collected from research firms, investment banks, company reports and interviews with industry executives".
There are some other numbers to compare eMarketer's analysis to. In May this year, Morgan Stanley predicted that YouTube's gross revenues would reach $4bn in 2013, while Barclays suggested a likely figure of $3.6bn the same month.
A June report by analyst firm Wedge Partners claimed YouTube accounts for around 10% of Google's revenues – not far off eMarketer's analysis – which if the company's fourth quarter matched the average revenues across the three previous quarters would hint at around $5.73bn of YouTube revenues for 2013 as a whole.
It's all still guesswork, of course, and Google is extremely unlikely to announce the real figures anytime soon. Suffice to say the $1.65bn Google paid for YouTube in 2006 – a sum that shocked many people at the time – looks like something of a bargain in 2013.
Google's public statistics for YouTube include the fact that the service attracts 1bn people watching more than 6bn hours of video a month, with 80% of its traffic coming from outside the US, and 40% of its viewing time happening on mobile devices.
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