Economic Impact | 08 Dec 2021

Assessing the economic, societal, and cultural benefits of YouTube in the EU

YouTube enables European content creators to reach a large domestic and international audience. This supports substantial economic value for those who earn income from the platform, for example as they are paid a share of the revenues from advertising placed alongside their videos. A YouTube presence can also help creators earn revenues from other sources, such as 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 supply chains, and through workers’ spending. In total, our economic modelling suggests that YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributed around €2.38 billion to the EU27 economy in 2020 and supported 142,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

In this report we outline our economic analysis, as well as the findings of wider survey research to investigate how YouTube can sustain careers for content creators; contribute to the success of the music and media industry; build skills and knowledge amongst users; help businesses grow; and promote cultural diversity. We also highlight how YouTube has proved helpful during Covid-19.

Alongside the findings from our economic modelling and surveys, we present a series of case studies to highlight the personal stories of successful European content creators.

About the team

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 included:

John Reiners

Managing Editor, EMEA, Thought Leadership

John Reiners

Managing Editor, EMEA, Thought Leadership

London, United Kingdom

John oversees Thought Leadership projects with EMEA-based clients. He works across business sectors and disciplines, but specialises in issues relating to strategy and business operations, such as sustainability, digital transformation, employment and skills, finance, and performance management. He has directed the Thought Leadership contribution on some of Oxford Economics’ largest and most complex research programmes, for global consultancies and corporates, including Accenture, the Adecco Group, Cognizant, EY, Fujitsu and YouTube. Often this is in collaboration with his economist colleagues to blend qualitative and quantitative analysis, and to explore the impact of corporate actions at a business, industry and economy level.

John joined Oxford Economics in 2014, after 25 years as a Financial Controller, financial management consultant and, most recently, a thought leadership expert for IBM’s Institute for Business Value, focused on global public sector issues. John then worked on the independent Digital Government Review as input to the UK General Election. He is an Economics graduate from Sussex University and a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA).

James Lambert

Director of Economic Consulting, Asia

+65 6850 0118

James Lambert

Director of Economic Consulting, Asia

Singapore

James is the Director of Oxford Economics’ economic consulting services in Asia.

James moved to this role from Oxford Economics’ London office, where he headed up a team dedicated to exploring the economic impact of technology. He delivered high profile studies on the growth of the digital economy, the impact of automation and the implications for the labour market.

Prior to joining Oxford Economics, James spent over six years in the Government Economics Service. He worked in economics teams of the Cabinet Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Transport. There, he gained experience in microeconomic analysis and impact assessment as well as international macroeconomics, economic risk analysis and energy security. In the FCO, James spent three years working on economic issues in East and South East Asia. He also previously worked for the International Labour Organization.

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