Economic Impact | 06 Oct 2021

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.

Read the report

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.

To find out more about our capabilities, contact:

Sam Moore
+44 (0)207 803 1415

Diantha Redd
+1 (646) 384 0271

Rhianne Clark
+65 6850 0112

Related Services


From opportunity to impact – Assessing the economic, societal, and cultural benefits of YouTube in Sweden

This study assesses YouTube's contribution to GDP and employment in Sweden, and its broader impact on society and culture.

Find Out More


Från möjlighet till påverkan – Utvärdering av de ekonomiska, sociala och kulturella fördelarna med YouTube i Sverige

Denna studie utvärderar YouTubes påverkan på Sveriges BNP och sysselsättningsgrad samt samhället och kulturen.

Find Out More
Motorbike in Sunset


The economic importance of motorcycles to Europe – technical report

Motorcycle-related activity supports €21.4 billion of output (GDP) across Europe a year, sustains 389,000 jobs, and generates €16.6 billion of tax revenues, according to research by Oxford Economics.

Find Out More