For years, people have been trying to figure out how well YouTube is doing and for years Google has been coy about revenue and especially about profit. It's doing the same in the latest financial report, details on YouTube are scarce, but what is there is impressive.For one, Google says the top 100 companies that advertise with Google spent 50 percent more on YouTube ads in 2012 than they did in 2011. 4 billion hours of video are watched on the site each month.
There are a lot of caveats attached to that number, the long tail is probably more important to Google than big name advertisers, but it's these big name advertisers that had been Google's weak spot in the past.
An even more specific example was Psy's phenomenon Gangnam Style. The video is well past 1.2 billion views at this point and passed the 1 billion view mark before the end of 2012. That video alone made Psy and his labels over $8 million, €6 million in ad revenue.
There aren't many other videos comparable to it, but it shows that you can earn significant amounts of money from YouTube alone.