Philip Stewart, known as ‘Farmer Phil’, started posting videos on his YouTube channel in 2015 to showcase the reality of day-to-day farming at his family’s farm in Co. Longford.
Now he is featured in a new report by YouTube which has found that the media platform supports over 1,600 jobs in Ireland.
The channel now has almost 50,000 subscribers and Farmer Phil said that without the audience and consumer base it generated, he would not have been able to achieve his goal of launching a farm shop to generate extra income.
His videos have been viewed almost 17 million times and people come from all over the country to visit the farm and the shop as a result. The revenue from the channel also enabled him to invest in the farm and contracting business through the purchase of new machinery.
Farmer Phil on educating audiences
Philip has used the channel to deliver educational benefits with videos to educate people disconnected from farming about agricultural practices.
He has also delivered classroom talks to children about farm safety. During the restrictions imposed to contain the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Philip received messages from people saying how much they enjoyed the videos over lockdown.
“It is amazing the amount of messages and letters that I get from kids, parents, and grandparents on how my videos bring them together and to see the younger generation get a passion for farming,” he said.
This week, YouTube 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.
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.