The great and the good in New York City’s new media industry got together yesterday to congratulate themselves and call for more tax breaks from the city and state to further aid an industry that by next year will employ more people than traditional media in the city; quite a feat in what is the […]
The great and the good in New York City’s new media industry got together yesterday to congratulate themselves and call for more tax breaks from the city and state to further aid an industry that by next year will employ more people than traditional media in the city; quite a feat in what is the media capital of the US, and many would say the world. That and other findings come from the second survey of the New York New Media Association (NYNMA), conducted on its behalf by Coopers & Lybrand LLP. New media, as defined by the survey are companies involved in consumer online and internet access services, third-party web site content development services, packaged PC multimedia software and video game console software, plus a few areas in which New York has a major presence, especially multimedia business information and interactive training programs. The first survey was conducted 18 months ago, and a lot has changed since then. The companies are moving beyond the embryonic stage to becoming more mature companies – the survey shows the number of employees at companies is now growing faster than the number of new companies. The survey was carried out by polling local industry watchers and news organizations, face-to-face interviews, 430 phone interviews with executives, resulting in 10,320 new media companies in all. The survey estimates that in the past 12 months, the new media industry in New York state generated revenues of $5.7bn, of which $2.8bn came from the city and there are now some 106,000 people employed in full-, part-time and freelance positions, a rise of 48% since the year-end 1995. The survey projects that by 2000 – barely two years away – new media jobs will have leaped another 79% to 188,000. One thing the survey did not ask about was profitability, because it was quite a sensitive question, according to the NYNMA founder Brian Horley, who is also a venture capitalist. The main reason companies cite for coming to the Big Apple is access to editorial and artistic talent, access to customers and the image and credibility being here gives companies. The downside is the lack of affordable facilities, overall costs and the quality of life. Perhaps the most famous local resident at the moment is N2K Inc, the online music retailer that just went public and signed major deals with America Online Inc and Netscape Communications Corp. Of those companies surveyed, some 83% have revenues of less than $1m, up from 63% in the previous survey, which slightly goes against the claim that the companies are becoming more mature. Thirty percent of the companies have started up since the previous survey and about 17% of existing companies have gone bust. About half the new companies have set up in Silicon Alley, the stretch around Broadway going south from 41st Street and centered around the Flatiron distict, SoHo and the financial district.