YouTube's Revenue Revealed - And It's Much Worse Than Expected

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Susan Wojcicki Google Youtube Portrait Illustration

Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki

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YouTube's revenues are lighter than analysts expect, according to a new report from Amir Efrati at The Information.

Citing two sources, Efrati says gross revenue for Google from YouTube was $3.5 billion in 2013. After payments to partners, net revenue was only $1.5 billion. Efrati says YouTube is profitable.

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Google never breaks out revenue figures for YouTube, so we're left to rely on estimates and reports.

The $3.5 billion is significantly behind forecasts. eMarketer thought YouTube would do $5.6 billion in gross revenue in 2013. In 2012, Citi analyst Mark Mahaney predicted $3.6 billion in gross revenue, and $2.4 billion in net revenue.

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It's almost impossible to find a company comparable to YouTube. But, for some context, Netflix did $4.3 billion in revenue last year (PDF link). Twitter, which is a user generated content site similar to YouTube in some ways, did $665 million in revenue in 2013. ESPN, which is a traditional network, was forecasted to do $11 billion in 2013.

New YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki will be responsible for getting YouTube's revenues to grow.