The New American Dream: YouTube Creators chart their own path to success, one video at a time
May 16, 2023 – minute read
May 16, 2023 – minute read
Oxford Economics estimates that, in 2022, YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributed over $35 billion to the U.S. GDP and supported more than 390K full-time equivalent U.S. jobs
What do a confectioner, psychologist, and children’s songwriter all have in common? They’re all examples of the types of YouTube creators making their mark on American life. In fact, according to a new report by Oxford Economics on the state of the U.S. creator economy, YouTube’s creative ecosystem is having a big impact on America’s economy, society and culture. These creative entrepreneurs are building businesses, hiring employees and contributing to their communities while making videos for the billions of people who turn to YouTube every month for entertaining, educational and enriching content.
Oxford Economics estimates that, in 2022, YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributed over $35 billion to the U.S. GDP and supported more than 390K full-time equivalent U.S. jobs. The report also shows that YouTube is an important source of educational content for kids and helpful information for all.
Hercules Candy is just one of the many businesses that have seen the benefits of YouTube. First opened in 1910 by Robert Adrianos and his two brothers, the business fell on hard times and closed its store doors in 1972. Robert’s grandson, Steve, reopened the business in 1977 and started making and selling candy out of his home, where he and his family would continue to run the business for the next 40 years. In 2017, the Andrianos family launched the Hercules Candy YouTube channel, which offered viewers a behind the scenes look at how treats like peanut butter filled ribbon candy were made. They quickly attracted a following of sweet-toothed subscribers and saw the demand for their products take off. The following year, the Andrianos were finally able to open a storefront, purchase new equipment and hire additional staff.
Beyond their economic contribution, U.S. creators are also shaping our society. Oxford Economics found that 85% of parents who use YouTube agree that YouTube provides quality content for their children's learning and entertainment. Additionally, 86% of teachers who use YouTube report that they have used YouTube content in their lessons and assignments.
One example of creators helping parents and kids is Dr. Javoris Hollinsworth and his family. Dr. Hollinsworth started Gracie’s Corner in 2020 after noticing a lack of diverse characters in the kids programming his eight year old daughter, Graceyn, was watching. At the time, he was a full-time chemistry professor at a university in Houston. He wrote and recorded songs with Graceyn in his spare time from a makeshift studio he built in his home, paying animators out of pocket to bring the channel’s characters to life. The channel steadily built a following, and in 2022, he quit his job as a professor to fully devote himself to the mission of creating educational content for kids of diverse backgrounds. He has since hired a team to continue growing the brand, on and off YouTube. In 2023, Gracie’s Corner was nominated for both a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award and an NAACP Image Award.
Many creators also help broaden people’s perspective on important topics like mental health. Dr. Tracey Marks–a psychiatrist in Atlanta, GA who has treated thousands of patients over a 22 year career–uses YouTube to address the stigmas associated with mental health disorders and treatment. She was inspired to start her channel after noticing how difficult it was for her to find trusted resources that provide nuanced information about mental health conditions in a way that was easy to understand. On her channel, Dr. Marks, posts informative and engaging videos on topics like anxiety, depression, stress management and more. Her videos have been viewed millions of times. And this type of mental health information that can be particularly helpful for communities where access to such resources is limited. YouTube had over 1.4B views on mental health videos in the United States in 2021 alone.
This Oxford Economic report reinforces what I see every day: that creators are having a real and positive impact on American life.
Visit yt.be/impact to learn more and meet the people behind the numbers.