Jeffery Lindsay with Bernstein Research estimates that YouTube’s revenues will come in at $123 million in 2009, reports Peter Kafka’s MediaMemo. This figure 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. estimated $500 million in revenue this year.
Lindsay thinks YouTube can sell ads against 9 percent of its video inventory. That number is interesting because it’s the same percentage Michael Learmonth at AdAge came up with last month doing some back-of-the-envelope math. That 9 percent represents a jump from the previously estimated 3-4 percent — a number YouTube called “grossly inaccurate.”
Of course third-party estimates are just that — estimates. And only the great Oz pulling all the strings behind YouTube’s curtain really knows the score. But if Lindsay is on the right track, that’s good news for YouTube. Lindsay forecasts that as the site adds more professional content and as the economy and CPMs recover, it will be able to monetize 15 percent of its inventory within the next 12 months, helping YouTube bring in $222 million in 2010.