Figuring out the value of the web

Friday, January 20, 2012 | 2:28 PM

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Today we’re launching a website called Value of the Web to collect research that sheds new light on the economic impact of the Internet. It’s available in English, French, German, Russian and Spanish and currently features a range of studies focusing on (amongst other things) the value of cloud computing in Europe, the value of search around the world, and the Internet’s contribution to GDP - a theme highlighted just last week by the European Commission in its new strategy to build trust in the Digital Single Market.


The value of the web is also the theme of a special event we’re hosting in Brussels on Tuesday 24th January called The Single Market Opportunity - Getting Europe’s SMEs Online. European Commission Vice President Tajani, other prestigious guests and small business from 15 EU countries will join us at the event to discuss how the Internet can help drive economic growth and jobs and help lift Europe out of the economic crisis.


Even though industrial metrics like GDP can’t fully capture the Web’s contributions to our information society, these reports represent the best efforts so far to quantify the Internet’s contributions to the economy and society. The new website will highlight the broad range of value generated by the internet, including in areas such as the contribution of the firms who provide the essential hardware and software to power the Internet and the jobs


In other studies, the findings project exponential growth for economies that are already engaging in e-commerce online. The Boston Consulting Group predicts that by 2015, at least 10% of the British economy will be Internet-based. Universal broadband access and creating innovative business models that capture consumer surplus could increase the value added by the Internet by roughly £43 billion, which is just less than half what the British government spends on education today.


The reports draw on work by globally renowned economic analysts such as the Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte Access Economics, McKinsey Global Institute, Nomura Research Institute, the Sogang University Market Economy Research Institute and academic economist Federico Etro at the University of Venice.

In time, we hope the site will become a central repository for insight derived from new measurements and data that move toward a more complete understanding of the Web’s impact. We’ll continue developing the site by adding more improvements, including more languages and content. Check back frequently for updates or choose to subscribe for alerts via email.

And if you’d like to participate in Tuesday's discussion about how the Internet can help get Europe’s economy back on track, please register now to secure one of the final places available at the Single Market Opportunity event.

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