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“Free” Internet Content: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and the Sources of Economic Growth
The Internet has evolved from Web 1.0, with static web pages and limited interactivity, to Web 2.0, with dynamic content that relies on user engagement. This change increased production costs significantly, but the price charged for Internet content has generally remained the same: zero. Because no transaction records the ?purchase? of this content, its value is not reflected in measured growth and productivity. To capture the contribution of the ?free? Internet, we model the provision of ?free? content as a barter transaction between the content users and the content creators, and we value ...
Valuing \\"Free\\" Media in GDP: An Experimental Approach
?Free? consumer entertainment and information from the Internet, largely supported by advertising revenues, has had a major impact on consumer behavior. Some economists believe that measured gross domestic product (GDP) growth is badly underestimated because GDP excludes online entertainment (Brynjolfsson and Oh 2012; Ito 2013; Aeppel 2015). This paper ntroduces an experimental GDP methodology that includes advertising-supported media in both final output and business inputs. For example, Google Maps would be counted as final output when it is used by a consumer to plan vacation driving ...
Measuring the “Free” Digital Economy Within the GDP and Productivity Accounts
We develop an experimental methodology that values ?free? digital content through the lens of a production account and is consistent with the framework of the national accounts. We build upon the work in Nakamura, et al. (2016) by combining marketing- and advertising-supported content and find that the impact of ?free? digital content on U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) has accelerated in recent years, particularly since 2005. However, the explosion in ?free? digital content is partially offset by a decrease in ?free? print content like newspapers. Including these, real GDP growth would grow ...