Break out the collection plate and set up the bake sale — it looks like we may have to scrounge up a few extra dimes for YouTube. Despite being the third most popular website on the internet, with parent company Google currently at number one, the company fell short of analysts’ predictions and only earned a paltry $3.5 billion last year, this according to a report compiled by The Information.
Google does not individually break out profit numbers for its various divisions, so no internal numbers are available. Instead industry watchers must rely on estimates. As a result, profitability estimate can vary wildly. Both Forbes and the digital market research firm eMarketer estimated that YouTube would bring in between $5.4 and $5.6 billion as of the end of last year. Compared to that number, the estimated earnings of $3.5 billion are staggering, even less than that 3.7 billion that eMarketer studies estimated for 2012.
Without access to real numbers it’s difficult to predict how the video giant will react to a seemingly disappointing 2013. New CEO Susan Wojcicki seems confident that new initiatives strengthen the YouTube’s earnings in 2014. Increased mainstream advertising, a series of strategic partnerships with brands, and the newly minted Google Preferred system are all likely to help boost revenue from advertisers this year. However, falling short of expectations is never good news, particularly at a time when competition from old competitors and new is heating up.
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