Mayor Bloomberg Announces Eight Initiatives to Strengthen the Media Industry in New York City
Programs will Promote Innovation within the Media Sector, Support New York City’s Media Workforce and Attract the Next Generation of Successful Media Companies to New York City
Strengthening Key Industries and Taking Steps to Diversify the New York City Economy Are Part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced eight initiatives to strengthen New York City’s media sector. The initiatives – part of a broad plan to diversify New York City’s economy – stem from MediaNYC 2020, a program the Bloomberg Administration launched earlier this year that brought together City officials and industry leaders from print, television, and Internet media to develop a strategy to maintain and enhance New York City’s position as a global media capital. The initiatives are projected to create roughly 8,000 jobs and support the growth of the City’s media sector over the next decade. Strengthening key industries and diversifying the economy is an important part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods. Joining Mayor Bloomberg at the announcement, which took place at the IAC world headquarters in Manhattan, were Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave, IAC Chief Financial Officer Tom McInerney, Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger, Fordham University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, Levin Institute President Garick Utley, Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau, DFJ Gotham Managing Partner Danny Schultz, blip.tv Co-founder Dina Kaplan, Partnership for New York City President and CEO Kathryn Wylde and Trinity Real Estate CEO Carl Weisbrod.
“New York City is the media capital of the world, but – with the industry undergoing profound changes – it’s incumbent on us to take steps now to capitalize on growth opportunities and ensure we remain an industry leader,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Through our MediaNYC 2020 program, we’ve convened leaders from media companies and local universities throughout the City to discuss the future of the industry and what the public sector can be doing to support new job growth. As a result, we are moving forward with a series of initiatives that will encourage innovation within the sector, create new jobs and position the City for long-term growth.”
New York City’s media industry employs more than 300,000 people, nearly 10 percent of the City’s private workforce, and accounts for $30 billion in annual revenue. The City has a large concentration of leading traditional media companies that are being challenged by changes to their business model and by a significant number of media start-ups. Small to medium-sized media companies, those with less than 500 employees, account for nearly one-half of all employment in the sector. While New York City-based companies account for roughly half of the nation’s revenue in magazines, books, and broadcast television and a quarter of the US market share in newspapers and cable television, growth in traditional media is slowing. It is projected to grow at one percent annually through 2015. In comparison, the new media sub-sector is growing: global mobile entertainment revenues, internet gaming traffic, social networking, and user-generated content are expected to expand significantly in the near term with annual growth rates potentially more than 35 percent. The next generation of media and technology companies is now in development, but much of the research and development is taking place elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad.
The initiatives – the product of more than 200 discussions with media and technology industry CEOs and other executives as part of MediaNYC 2020 – will address these gaps in three ways: (1) increasing collaboration among media industry representatives, including new and traditional media channels, as well as New York City’s universities, to foster innovation and entrepreneurship; (2) attracting and training top talent to maintain New York City’s competitiveness in the global marketplace; and (3) recruiting leading foreign media companies and helping New York City-based companies expand abroad.
“Diversifying our economy is a critical part of our Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan,” said Deputy Mayor Lieber. “We are targeting sectors where New York City has competitive advantages, and the media industry represents one of our best opportunities. By promoting the development of new media here in New York City and ensuring our workforce has the capacity to support it, we’re taking steps to see that New York City’s media industry plays a leading role in the City’s long-term economic growth.”
“New York City remains a global center for media and technology, and we are constantly looking for ways to help our businesses and talent adapt to the changing needs of the industry,” said NYCEDC President Pinsky. “By addressing the three major components that we have identified as barriers to growth, and by engaging the industry in a discussion of the challenges and opportunities it faces, we aim to create an environment where both new media entrepreneurs and traditional media companies can thrive and grow.”
“In the past few months, Mayor Bloomberg, NYCEDC and the City have actively engaged the media community as it established a platform to ensure that New York City remains a leader in the media community, and grows its presence in the new media marketplace,” said National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences President and CEO Peter Price “I am encouraged by the efforts displayed to date and am eager to continue working with the City as it moves forward with the initiatives announced today.”
Fostering and Promoting Entrepreneurship and Innovation
NYC Media Lab: NYC Media Lab, a research center for media companies and universities, will create a collaborative environment for innovation by connecting companies looking to advance new media technologies with academic institutions undertaking related research. New York City is home to 10,000 media companies and more than 100 universities and colleges, many of which independently pursue media-related research. Like similar initiatives at Stanford University and MIT, NYC Media Lab will maintain a database of projects to facilitate the interaction between academic and other nonprofit researchers and corporate partners, serve as a physical hub for networking events, and provide space for industry lectures and workshops. NYCEDC will release a Request for Proposals (RFP) in July to select partners to develop the lab and create a framework for the services it will offer. It is expected to be in operation by January 2010.
“New York City remains a global center for knowledge and culture, media and communications precisely because creative people thrive by living and working together in a vibrant city,” said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. “Our research universities continue to attract great minds and generate new intellectual capital in New York by bringing together scholars and practitioners in diverse fields – from journalism and business to engineering and computer science – whose collective innovations and ideas shape our media future. We are delighted to support the Mayor’s newest initiative to encourage this vital industry.”
“Providing media and tech entrepreneurs and the academic and not-for-profit communities with access to companies looking to conduct innovative research, will ensure that New York City maintains its role as a leader in the global media and technology industries. Creating a Media Lab will enable the City’s businesses to capture the growth in the digital and new media marketplaces,” said WPP’s Chief Executive Sir Martin Sorrell.
Media Tech Bond Program: NYCEDC has created the Media Tech Bond Program to help companies purchase new manufacturing, research or production facilities, retrofit existing building to accommodate hi-tech servers, or make large IT purchases. The tax-exempt bond program was made possible by a recent change in Federal law that now allows tax-exempt financing for facilities that are used in the creation or production of intangible property, including patents, copyrights, formulas, processes, designs and other similar items. Media Tech Bonds may be utilized to finance projects in the range of $1 million to $10 million. Interested companies should contact: [email protected]ycedc.com.
“Some of the most interesting things happening in media today – and the people who do them – are right here in New York City,” said Take-Two Interactive Software Chairman Strauss Zelnick. “This initiative will encourage and amplify that trend.”
Media and Tech Fellowship: To increase opportunities for successful start-up companies in new media and encourage innovation in emerging sub-sectors, NYCEDC has established the Media and Tech Fellowship to be awarded to approximately 20 “rising star” media and technology entrepreneurs on an annual basis. Fellows will be provided with training, mentoring, networking opportunities with venture capital firms, and support services such as legal aid. Selection will be based on several criteria, including: demonstrated professional experience with a record of sustained business success and innovation; a business plan or early-stage start-up with the potential for significant New York City-based job creation; personal commitment to a continued investment in the culture and economic development of New York City; and an indication that the Fellowship will increase the entrepreneur’s probability of success. NYCEDC will release an RFP this week to identify a manager for the program to launch by October 2009.
“As an entrepreneur who helped work to build blip.tv from the ground-up, I believe that New York City’s entrepreneurial culture will be vital to the City’s competitiveness in the future. I applaud NYCEDC and the City for creating a fellowship program that offers entrepreneurs access, information, and the support services necessary to launch a successful business,” said Dina Kaplan, Co-founder of blip.tv.
NYC Start-up Procurement Initiative: The Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications will encourage local start-ups and established firms to team up on bidding for City IT contracts, and promote other City contracting opportunities for start-ups. The Department of Small Business Services will administer a “Prepare for Success” program which is a package of services to assist and encourage start-ups companies to expand through government contracting. City agencies will also host Gov2.0 Tech Forums – regular briefings on topics including City procurement and evolving IT processes. Special sessions will be organized for large contractors looking to interact with small technology companies that could act as subcontractors on City projects, providing an opportunity for both parties to network and foster future partnerships. The first Gov2.0 Tech Forum – with the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, the Department of Small Business Services and private sector companies including Google and IBM – will take place July 9, 2009 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Digital Sandbox at 55 Broad Street in Lower Manhattan.
“By educating small tech firms about doing business with the City, and encouraging private-sector partnerships when seeking public contracts, we’ll help build relationships to yield new and better ideas for delivering quality, cost-effective IT services to New Yorkers – ever-important in these challenging fiscal times,” said DoITT Commissioner Cosgrave.
“I applaud the City’s efforts to engage the private sector, start-ups and small media businesses as it works to address the challenges facing the media industry today,” said Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham Ventures Managing Partner Danny Schultz. “By providing a resource such as the Gov2.0 Tech Forum, these groups will be able to participate in ongoing conversations that foster improved relationships and facilitate innovative idea exchanges.”
NYC BigApps Competition: Last month, Mayor Bloomberg announced the launch of NYC BigApps, an annual software competition for individuals or companies with operations in New York City to develop functional digital applications that utilize City data. Start-up and venture capital companies participating in MediaNYC 2020 expressed significant interest in utilizing City data to create new digital applications, and NYC BigApps will serve to stimulate innovation in the technology information and business media sub-sectors and attract and support developer talent in the City and surrounding communities. Winners will be selected in early 2010. NYCEDC released a Request for Expressions of Interest in June to garner interest among developers and the public regarding data content and a RFP for a competition partner on July 1.
“By consolidating City data and making it more accessible, and by engaging the City’s media and technology industry, the NYC Big Apps Competition will foster the creation of new apps and new business models to help New Yorkers better navigate the City and inspire our entrepreneurs, start-ups and high-tech business community to create new consumer-friendly applications,” said FirstMark Capital Managing Director Amish Jani.
Maintaining New York City’s Competitiveness By Attracting and Training Top Talent
Media Freelancer [email protected]: The lack of affordable workspace and the prohibitive cost of specialized equipment for emerging sub-sectors such as gaming and social networking can impede the growth and sustainability of start-ups and small businesses in the sector. To address these issues, the City is partnering with the Downtown Alliance to launch a center for media freelancers at 55 Broad Street in Lower Manhattan. The Alliance will lease and fit out a 5,000-square-foot space to suit the needs of media professionals and others who need quality workspace on a daily or short term basis and access to services such as contract editing, news feeds, and conference space. NYCEDC is providing a $100,000 grant to assist with start-up costs. The “[email protected]” will provide workspace for 50 freelancers at a time, and will provide workspace and services for as many as 1,850 part-time and drop-in workers per year.
“Mayor Bloomberg understands well how to create companies and jobs. We at the Downtown Alliance are very pleased that his administration is supporting our ‘[email protected]’ co-working space in Lower Manhattan,” said Alliance for Downtown New York Chairman Robert R. Douglass. “Lower Manhattan’s diversified economy and growing residential population consists of many up-and-coming companies, service providers and entrepreneurs. ‘[email protected]’ will be a center for business incubation, a place where new companies and jobs will be created and a new chapter in New York City’s economic growth and sustainability will be written.”
“New York City has a wealth of independent media and tech talent that will benefit from access to resources that otherwise may have been prohibitively expensive or inaccessible,” said Huffington Post Chief Executive Officer Eric Hippeau. “By creating new ‘freelancer hives’ targeted to specific sub-sectors within the industry, the City has created an environment where that community will have an opportunity to thrive, in spite of the difficult economic climate.”
JumpStart New Media: To ensure that traditional media professionals have the skills necessary to succeed in a new media marketplace, the City will launch JumpStart New Media, a training program to assist displaced or entrepreneurial junior to mid-level employees in exploring opportunities in new and digital media. The program, to be launched in September, will also provide the City’s media firms and entrepreneurs a pre-screened pool of high-quality candidates. JumpStart New Media will consist of a training “boot camp,” after which the first class of 50 participants will be offered a 10-week unpaid apprenticeship with a new media company and the potential of converting to full-time employment, building on Mayor Bloomberg’s successful JumpStart NYC program designed for workers laid off from the financial services sector. NYCEDC will release an RFP this week to identify an operator for the program.
“Making sure that our talented workforce has the tools necessary to keep pace with new media technology is one of the key challenges that traditional media outlets face,” said Hearst Magazines President Cathie Black. “The City is taking an important step in addressing those needs through programs like JumpStart New Media, to retrain workers to provide them with new skills necessary to succeed in today’s marketplace.”
Attract the Next Generation of Successful Companies to New York City
International and Domestic Recruitment: New York City is home to 29 multi-billion dollar media companies, more than any other city in the nation. To keep it competitive within the global marketplace, and to increase representation among emerging international and domestic media players, the City, along with executives from New York City-based media enterprises, is embarking on a recruitment campaign in emerging markets across Asia and the Middle East, and in Silicon Valley and the greater Boston area.
“New York City’s talented workforce, the diversity and concentration of its media businesses, and proximity to its consumers are what attracted Time Warner to locate here,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Time Warner Jeff Bewkes. “We support the Mayor's efforts to recruit more international companies to locate here.”
In order to facilitate interaction among traditional and new media professionals, and to engage the industry in discussions about issues ranging from content and distribution to the shifting media landscape, NYCEDC has created MediaNYC2020.com. Topics will be updated on a weekly basis and may include discussions on how consumers will search for and discover content; which payment models will support the industry and in what mix; will open or closed networks win out and in what cases; and how content consumption will be reallocated across blockbuster, professional mid- and long-tail, and user generated content. The MediaNYC2020.com forum can be accessed at: www.medianyc2020.com.
For more information, including periodic progress updates and contact information, on the particular initiatives please refer to NYCEDC's Media & Emerging Tech page.
The City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city’s economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. To learn more about the plan, visit www.nyc.gov.