YouTube’s growing creative ecosystem supports over 1,600 full-time equivalent jobs in Ireland – jim o brien

YouTube today launched its first ‘From Opportunity to Impact’ report in Ireland. Developed in partnership with Oxford Economics the report assesses the economic, societal, and cultural benefits of the world’s most popular video hosting website in Ireland.

Around one billion hours of YouTube videos are watched every day across the world. With a low bar to entry, in terms of cost, and access to a global fanbase, YouTube offers Irish creators the opportunity to build a business on the platform.

The report, commissioned by YouTube, found that the platform’s creative ecosystem supported the equivalent of 1,600 full-time jobs in Ireland in 2020. Oxford Economics also estimated that the total contribution of YouTube’s creative ecosystem to Ireland’s GDP was €30 million in 2020.

As well as measuring the economic impact, the report outlined the value of YouTube as a place to learn, as an amplifier of diverse voices and creative entrepreneurs and, as a source of relevant information during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A place to learn

Every day YouTube empowers people of all ages across Ireland to develop their personal and professional skills. It has become an unrivalled learning repository with 91% of Irish users accessing the platform to gather information and knowledge. Users turn to YouTube to learn new hobbies and solve practical problems with 68% regularly watching ‘how to’ and DIY videos for example.

Discerning this desire for educational content led Irish design engineer Brian McManus to leave his job in 2016 to pursue a career as a YouTube creator. Five years later, his two channels Real Engineering and Real Science have 3.1 million and 518,000 subscribers respectively. Brian employs four people full time and regularly hires freelancers who work as editors, animators, and writers in his production team.

Commenting on the report, Brian McManus said,

“I could see that people watched a lot of educational content on YouTube, but I could not find anyone creating engineering videos that represented how important the career was to the world. I began to teach myself animation and video editing in my spare time, and when I felt I was ready, I quit my job to start the channel.

“The channel grew rather quickly and within 6 months I had replaced my income. I’m now doing something I love and I’m also employing a vastly talented production team as well as hiring many more freelancers – and all based from the West of Ireland.”

YouTube provides a vehicle for Irish creators, like Melanie Murphy to find opportunities and economic success by sharing content with audiences, locally and internationally. Melanie’s videos on health, culture, and motherhood have been viewed more than 71 million times and she has earned a full time income for the past seven years from her YouTube presence. While Melanie describes herself as a ‘one man band’ she has, in the past, hired staff like camera crews to help in the development of content for her channel – further demonstrating the knock-on economic impact of the YouTube creator community. You can also find US on YouTube for hands on tech reviews

YouTube Ireland by numbers

YouTube Ireland by numbers

Commenting on the report, Pedro Pina, Head of YouTube EMEA, said,

“It is inspiring to see the many ways YouTube is touching the lives of Irish people, including those of Brian and Melanie. As the only open platform that allows people to both share their voice and the revenue  derived from their work, we’re bringing to an entire new generation of creative entrepreneurs — regardless who they are or where they come from — the chance to build thriving businesses on YouTube.” 

Ireland’s creators have cultivated a diverse audience with over 95% of time watched on content produced by channels in Ireland coming from international users. The global success of Ireland’s creators represents a real export opportunity with the potential to further increase the already significant number of jobs as well as the sizeable contribution to Ireland’s GDP – generated by the creator ecosystem here.

The number of Irish creator channels with over 1 million subscribers has increased by 20% year over year, with over 70 channels attracting those audience levels. There has also been growth in the number of channels that have 100,000+ subscribers reaching 450 further indicating the potential revenue growth opportunities that exist for creators.

Diverse voices and relevant content

On YouTube, viewers can find voices in every accent, creators of every colour, and people from every age and background on their screens. A key finding from today’s report is that 74% of Irish users agree YouTube is home to diverse content. The diversity of the creator population means that more viewers can be served content that’s familiar and important to them with 68% of users agreeing that they feel YouTube has relevant content for them.

In Ireland YouTube is valued by users as a trusted source of information. The research carried out by Oxford Economics finds that  69% of users agree that YouTube allows them to view content they can’t access through traditional media with over half of users agreeing that the platform has been a reliable source of information since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

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