The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy—one that relied on the buildout of hardware—to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.
A new IAB study argues that a shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.
“The adoption of the internet both by firms as producers and by consumers as users is now broad enough that America’s economic future will depend more on its competitiveness in information gathering and use than on its manufacturing and materials processing edge,” said John Deighton, a Harvard Business School professor and co-author of a new report detailing the trend.
This report, which is published every four years by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and written in conjunction with researchers, finds that the internet-supported economy over the past decade has shifted from jobs that related mostly to technical internet functions, like coding, to jobs that help deliver information and facilitate communication through data.
The number of people employed in news and information-related publishing tripled between 2008 and 2020 to more than 142,000.
The digital entertainment sector grew revenues and jobs by 13 times and four times, respectively, compared to 2008. Newer industries like podcasting, streaming and digital gaming have seen the most growth. Gaming revenue has grown tenfold, while employment has only grown by three times.
More than half of all U.S. advertising and media employment now comes from the internet, per the report. Professor Deighton notes that in recent years, there’s been a proliferation of content-based business models on the internet beyond advertising, like creator payments and in-app transactions.
Overall, the internet-supported economy now accounts for 12% of U.S. gross domestic product, up from 2% in 2008. It has grown seven times faster than the total U.S. economy in the past four years. There are now more than 17 million internet-supported jobs in the U.S, up from 3 million in 2008, per the report.
Source: Fischer, S. (2021, October 19). “No-Code” Miracle For Startups. Axios.