Wall Street has a difficult time determining YouTube’s exact financial status. That’s because YouTube’s parent company, Google isn’t required to report it. The multimedia and technology conglomerate currently puts YouTube under the umbrella of its display advertising business when it makes its quarterly earnings reports to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. So, that leaves the amount of revenue generated by the world’s largest video sharing site (which now boasts over 100 hours of video uploaded every minute) up for guesstimations.
Morgan Stanley offered their latest guesswork up to the public last week. The financial institution estimates YouTube will do $4 billion in gross revenue and $711 million in operating income in 2013. And it gets bigger. By 2020, Morgan Stanley believes Youtube could hit $20 billion in gross revenue and $5 billion in operating income.
Those calculations undoubtedly assume the vast majority of YouTube’s revenue will be comprised of advertising dollars, so if paying for premium YouTube channels starts to take off in the next seven years, expect that $20 billion in gross revenue to be much higher.