YouTube will generate revenues of USD200m this year, possibly hitting USD350m in 2009, according to Forbes estimates. However, the US economics magazine would not reveal on which figures it has based its forecasts.
Advertising will be the main driver of YouTube’s revenue growth. While pre-roll videos have proven a failure, causing up to 70% of viewers to “click away”, short pop-up ads are expected to emerge as the most profitable model, says Forbes. Branded channels on the site, sold at USD200,000 each, will also contribute to YouTube’s growth.
Meanwhile, YouTube is planning to deploy its video-tracking technology, used to individuate copyrighted clips, to let right owners place targeted ads. The solution will also be used to offer users video recommendations in a customisable home page, a YouTube exec tells Forbes. “This channel won’t just be YouTube,” says the firm’s head of product management Hunter Walk. “It will travel with you over the internet.”
Despite the growth, some YouTube employees hired before Google’s takeover will leave the firm during the next one and a half years, reports Forbes quoting “outsiders”. Each of them reportedly owns around USD400m in Google stock.
YouTube accounts for the majority of US visits to video-sharing sites, according to Hitwise. The research firm found that YouTube alone received 53.9% of all US visits to video destinations in Mar. In a comparison, runner-up MySpaceTV had only 7.68% of visits.