Television

YouTube is worth up to $21.3 billion

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MUMBAI: The cover of Fortune Magazine's latest issue shows a few dozen camera lenses arranged into the shape of a familiar "Play" icon below the words "How YouTube Changes Everything."

In the cover story, senior writer Miguel Helft takes a look at the world's largest online video streaming site through a business lens, from its 2006 acquisition by Google, to the ascent (and acquisition) of YouTube multi-channel networks, to the $100 million YouTube originals initiative, to the recent outcries of some online video producers about how YouTube must alter components of its current business and advertising strategies or soon face a content creator diaspora that will give rise to alternative revenue sources and video platforms.

Aside from a semi-in-depth take on YouTube's business activities, one of the most interesting statistical takeaways from the article is a guess at YouTube's current revenue numbers and valuation. Barclays estimates the company to have made $3.6 billion in revenue, and for that number to increase 20 per cent to $4.3 billion in 2014.

The London-based multinational banking and financial services company also estimates YouTube's operating margins to be around 30 per cent to 35 per cent, putting the total value of YouTube between $15.6 billion and $21.3 billion. As Helft writes, "At the low end, it would mark a nearly 10-fold increase from the price Google paid in 2006. At the high end, it would make YouTube a third as valuable as Facebook."

Not bad for a $1.65 billion acquisition in 2006 with no revenue.

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