New research from Ryerson University's FCAD highlights learning, jobs and diversity on YouTube
22 May, 2019, 11:00 ET
Watchtime Canada report shows YouTube is the first media space Canadians go to learn
TORONTO, May 22, 2019 /CNW/ - New research launched today examines the role of YouTube in Canada's media ecosystem, and suggests that the platform is a unique service that has achieved significant positive outcomes with respect to diversity, employment, domestic popularity, global export and global access.
The report, entitled Watchtime Canada, is the first-of-its kind research to evaluate YouTube's role within the Canadian media ecosystem and was authored by Irene Berkowitz, PhD, Policy Research Fellow at the Audience Lab at the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD), Charles Davis, Associate Dean, FCAD, and Hanako Smith, PhD candidate at FCAD. The findings are based on public data and primary research in the form of surveys deployed to thousands of Canadian creators and Canadian YouTube users.
One of the key findings is the platform's role in learning, with 70 per cent of Canadian YouTube consumers ranking YouTube as the first media space they go to learn things.
"Our research suggests that YouTube is a unique learning accelerator within the Canadian system," says Irene Berkowitz. "The seemingly never-ending array of learning and how-to content for everything from cooking to home repairs to learning new languages helps YouTube users in their multiple roles as citizens, learners, travellers, parents, caretakers and community participants.
According to the study, YouTube has facilitated the rise of a new group of 160,000 Canadian creators including 40,000 who have achieved sufficient audience traction to monetize their channels. These YouTube entrepreneurs have created nearly 28,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs for themselves and others. Fifteen per cent of YouTube channels generate more than $50,000 annually in gross revenue; 12 per cent generate $75,000 or more; nine per cent generate $100,000 or more; and six per cent report $150,000 or more. And while YouTube costs an estimated $6B+ per year to maintain, the platform is free for creators and consumers, incurring no technological or administrative cost to Canada's media ecosystem.
"Our findings show that YouTube is not a broadcaster and it's not social media - it has no equivalent in the media ecosystem," explains Charles Davis. "Consumers don't use YouTube as their first stop for entertainment or music or news, but they do rank it as their first media choice for learning."
Watchtime Canada also shows that Canadians value the diversity they see on YouTube, including genres, perspectives, voices, languages, geographies, genders, and ethnicities that are not as visible on other media.
"For Canadian consumers, YouTube is 'MeTube' - it's free, it's always on and it contains a seemingly endless catalogue of easily-searched topics," says Berkowitz. "And Canadian YouTube users predict that their YouTube use will increase in the next five years."
"We have seen a growing trend towards learning content on YouTube on a global basis over the past few years," explains Lucinda Barlow, Director of Marketing, YouTube. "These research findings really underscore what we have seen in terms of people diving into their passions and engaging in lifelong learning through YouTube."
"I'm thrilled Google Canada selected Ryerson's FCAD to conduct the first of its kind research. Watchtime Canada is a reflection of the pioneering research and industry collaboration that FCAD represents, paving the future of media and creative industries in Canada and on a global scale," said Charles Falzon, dean of FCAD. "We look forward to continue working with industry leaders, innovators and governments in fuelling creative innovation that drives impact."
The full report can be downloaded at bit.ly/watchtime-2019.
The Faculty of Communication and Design is the cultural and creative hub at Ryerson University. With its nine prestigious schools in media and creative industries, FCAD's interdisciplinary innovation and education are shaping the future of the creative industries.
SOURCE Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD)
For further information: Press contacts: Dasha Pasiy, Ryerson University, [email protected]; Nicole Bell, YouTube Canada, [email protected]
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