Anonymous analysts who spoke to the New York Times think so.
It is hard to discern whether YouTube is making a profit, because Google (GOOG) doesn’t break its numbers out separately from its other ad-driven properties, at least not yet. It is also hard to quantify what is a YouTube sale and what is a Doubleclick sale because Google uses one unit of the company to make money off another.
So how are spots that advertise on YouTube, but booked through Doubleclick, tallied?
Never mind all that! The New York Times polled analysts (that for some reason are to remain anonymous) who believe that YouTube is now making money. They say YouTube will bring in $450 million in revenues which, for the first time, are more than operating costs. YouTube’s revenue has quickly been growing, more than doubling YOY for the past three years. Finally passing break-even isn’t a hard to believe.
Eric Schmidt told reporters earlier this year, “YouTube is a big component of our display revenue, and display is our next big business”
Google has been putting lots of ads on YouTube lately and there are hundereds of millions of YouTube pages served up daily. Those numbers only appear to be growing.
Meanwhile YouTube videos are a cornerstone of mobile devices like those that run Android and Apple’s iOS and at the same time are big parts of big-screen experiences like AppleTV and the upcoming GoogleTV.
While it won’t replace search any time soon, video may be an area in which Google can finally diversify its earnings.