The state of the creator economy
Assessing the economic, societal, and cultural impact of YouTube in the US in 2020.
This study presents an updated assessment of YouTube’s contribution to US GDP and employment, and its broader impact on society and culture.
YouTube enables American content creators to reach a large domestic and international audience. This supports substantial economic value for creators who receive income from the platform, for example as they are paid a share of the revenues from advertising placed alongside their videos. Creators may also earn revenues from other sources that are helped by their YouTube presence, including product sales, brand partnerships, or live performance engagements.
These revenue sources not only support jobs and income for the creators themselves, but also wider activity in their supply chains, and through workers’ spending. In total, our economic modelling suggests that YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributed $20.5 billion to the US economy in 2020 and supported 394,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
In this report we provide further details of our economic analysis, as well as the findings of wider survey research to investigate how YouTube can sustain careers for content creators; help businesses grow; enrich cultures and communities; build skills; and provide connections. We also investigate how YouTube has proved helpful during Covid-19.
Alongside the findings from our economic modelling and surveys, the report presents a series of case studies to highlight the personal stories of successful US content creators.
Our economic consulting team are world leaders in quantitative economic analysis, working with clients around the globe and across sectors to build models, forecast markets and evaluate interventions using state-of-the art techniques. Lead consultants on this project were:
Andrew P. Goodwin
Director of Applied Economics, Europe & Middle EastEmail