Our work on digital platforms has encompassed many dimensions of the digital ecosystem, ranging from network neutrality to digital inclusion, and from the app economy to online value chain analysis. We can help regulators, policymakers, firms and industry bodies to better understand the burgeoning digital economy, and how regulation should be evolving to keep step.

The impact of the digital economy

Plum has significant experience in evaluating the impact of digital technologies on society and the economy. We have analysed this impact both at the macroeconomic level – the digital economy’s impact on economy-wide productivity and growth – and at the microeconomic level – examining how individuals and SMEs use digital services. We have also worked extensively on the app economy, exploring how apps are digitising the economy.

Platforms and net neutrality

We have worked closely with firms, industry bodies and policymakers on the concept of multi-sided platforms. Our work has covered the issues of network and platform neutrality, interoperability and the open internet in the context of the evolving digital economy. We have assessed the impact of proposed regulation of these issues and the implications on consumers, networks and competition, and have helped to shape policies that foster growth in the digital economy.

Value chain analysis

We have undertaken value chain analyses of internet and media value chains for content creators, application and service providers and regulators. Our work has assessed not just the overall economic benefits of the activity, but how commercial value is distributed along the extended value chains – and whether steps should be taken to redistribute it. We have evaluated the likely evolution of these value chains, and the impact of this evolution on consumers, content creators and intermediaries.

Digital inclusion

We have also worked on the issue of digital inclusion – how best to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to engage with the digital world. Our work in this area has considered various aspects of digital inclusion, ranging from the affordability and accessibility of telecommunications services to the role that mobile devices can play in helping people online. This work has involved fieldwork, surveys, interviews, focus groups, pilot studies, original research and quantitative modelling.


Sam Wood

Sam Wood

Sam Wood is a Principal with a broad range of project experience, ranging from spectrum valuation to estimating cost of capital. Sam has worked on issues as diverse as fibre regulation, platform neutrality and interoperability and broadcasting technology, as well as on numerous spectrum valuation projects.

He is an experienced econometrician and has built and analysed numerous econometric models to value spectrum. He was one of the developers of the iterated cost (‘bootstrap’) model for valuing spectrum, a novel approach in which user data demand is iteratively determined by the model (rather than using a fixed data traffic forecast).

Sam has also worked extensively on issues related to the digital economy, ranging from net neutrality to digital inclusion. He has assessed the contribution of the internet and mobile apps to the European economy, and has evaluated the impact of interoperability and neutrality requirements on digital ecosystems. Sam has provided written analysis, conducted supporting research and provided quality assurance for numerous other studies.

Prior his current position, Sam worked in media analytics, building econometric models and conducting bespoke analysis on advertising for blue-chip clients. He has a Masters degree in economics from the University of Warwick.