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Summary:

Hulu will take in $120 million this year, Screen Digest analyst Arash Amel tells BusinessWeek. That’s a downgrade from his previous estimate of $180 million for 2009. And the previous estimate isn’t all that outdated; it was made in November, after the economy was already well […]

Hulu will take in $120 million this year, Screen Digest analyst Arash Amel tells BusinessWeek. That’s a downgrade from his previous estimate of $180 million for 2009. And the previous estimate isn’t all that outdated; it was made in November, after the economy was already well on its way down the tubes.

At the time, Amel had said Hulu would bring in $70 million by the end of 2008; now he’s also downgraded that figure to $65 million. Amel thinks YouTube revenue for 2009 will be on par with Hulu’s, at $120 million, downgraded from $180 million as well.

That’s just one analyst’s educated guess; Jefferies & Co analyst Youssef Squali recently said he thought YouTube would bring in $500 million this year, and multiple estimates have put YouTube’s 2008 revenue near $200 million. While Amel’s numbers may be smaller, they’re still in the same ballpark. We do know for sure that YouTube revenues were not significant enough to be spelled out in the company’s annual report.

YouTube is, of course, running away with the traffic prize, and it streams far more video than Hulu, but Hulu is breaking from the pack at an impressive clip. Hulu had 333 million streams in February compared to YouTube’s 5.35 billion.

“What we’ve seen is rapid growth in consumption, but the advertising isn’t keeping up,” [Amel] says. Based on his studies of Hulu, the site has only sold about 60% of its ad inventory, with much of the remaining space filled with public service announcements, Amel estimates.

Hulu is doing its darndest to make TV streaming overdeliver in the crappy economy. CEO Jason Kilar was featured in an iMedia Q&A this morning talking up new advertising initiatives for the site, including spots that ask a question of viewers and individually targeted ads.

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  1. Hulu to get as much revenue as YouTube in 2009 Tuesday, March 31, 2009

    [...] least according to one analyst.  Liz Gannes at NewTeeVee has the scoop: Hulu will take in $120 million this year, Screen Digest analyst Arash Amel tells BusinessWeek. [...]

  2. HmmConvenient Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Wonder how he got $120MM…

    333,000,000 Streams
    /1000
    = 333,000 x $30 CPM = 9.9M/ MO x 12 = $120MM

    Easy.

    1. @HmmConvenient. That would be pretty weak, given growth is coming easily to them, and this is an estimate for the whole year. Also, the analyst says only 60 percent are legit ads.

  3. HmmConvenient Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    @Liz; I don’t disagree, just saying even modest math and an increase in the CPM throughout the year could account for that target. I’d love to see analysis on what the full Hulu P&L looks like, in other words is there profit?

  4. Analyst: YouTube Could Lose $470M This Year Friday, April 3, 2009

    [...] come on the heels of a report earlier this week from Screen Digest that said YouTube would earn $120 million this year and one from Jefferies & Co. in March that said YouTube would earn $500 million. In [...]

  5. Is YouTube a Massive Money Loser? | Technologizer Friday, April 3, 2009

    [...] In March, Jefferies Co. said that YouTube would earn $500 million, and Screen Digest predicted $120 million in earnings earlier this [...]

  6. TV’s Web Revenues: $1.63B in 2008 Monday, April 6, 2009

    [...] Hulu to Bring in $120 million in ‘09 [...]

  7. sources tell me that hulu is not anywhere near a $120M run rate for this year. while there seems to be a lot of buzz around this number not looking too likely.

  8. YouTube Sells Ads on “Hundreds of Millions of Video Views” Per Month; Adds AdSense to Content ID Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    [...] be overshadowed by an expected $711 million in expenses. Screen Digest predicted YouTube would only take in $120 million in revenue this [...]

  9. Analyst: YouTube to Bring in $123M Friday, May 8, 2009

    [...] falls on the lower end of previous estimates. Screen Digest said the video giant would take in $120 million, while Credit Suisse forecast that YouTube would generate $240 million and Jeffries & Co. [...]

  10. HipMojo.com » YouTube’s Doing Just Fine, But Thanks for Asking Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    [...] of speculation lately about how much it costs to run YouTube. With revenue estimates ranging from $120 million to $500 million, and costs on an equally large spectrum, it seems people can pick any number to fit [...]

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