New Initiatives Aim to Boost NYC Media Industry

July 9, 2009 Updated: July 9, 2009

NEW YORK—Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled eight new initiatives on Tuesday in the effort to strengthen the economic outlook for New York City’s media industry. The programs are part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan, which aims to create jobs, position the City for long-term economic prosperity and provide affordable housing.

The initiatives evolved from the MediaNYC 2020 program that brought together City officials and industry leaders from print, television and Internet media in order to develop a comprehensive strategy for enhancing NYC’s media industry’s global standing and economic growth. The new programs are expected to create 8,000 jobs, while promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, workforce stability, training and recruitment.

“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,” stated 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,” he added.

The new media initiatives include:

NYC Media Lab: The designated research center will maintain a database of projects for media companies and universities in order to foster industrial and academic collaborations for innovation, and is slated for operation in January 2010.

Media Tech Bond Program: The tax-exempt bond program aims to aid companies with buying new manufacturing, research or production facilities and large-scale IT items.

Media and Tech Fellowship: Approximately 20 fellows from the up-and-coming media and technology entrepreneurs will be selected each year to receive training, mentoring, and access to venture capital firms and support services. The program will encourage development and growth of small businesses and is expected to start in October 2009.

NYC Start-up Procurement Initiative: The program will encourage small start-ups and established companies to join in their efforts to bid on City’s IT contracts. Additional assistance to start-up companies will be provided through the “Prepare for Success” service program. City agencies will also host Gov2.0 Tech Forums providing networking opportunities for various contractors.

NYC BigApps Competition: The annual software competition challenges individuals and companies to develop innovative functional digital applications that utilize City data. The winners of the first competition that was announced in June will be chosen in early 2010.

Media Freelancer Hive@55: The collaborative effort between the City and the Downtown Alliance will provide working space for media freelancers with the aim of decreasing fiscal burden and promoting growth for the gaming and social networking sectors of the media. The new 5,000-square-foot center will be located at 55 Broad Street in Manhattan.

The JumpStart New Media: The innovative digital media training program for out-of-work professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs aims to increase professional knowledge and offer a 10-week apprenticeship with a media company. The program is slated to launch in September 2010.

International and Domestic Recruitment: In the effort to increase the NYC industry’s global representation in the emerging markets, a new campaign will focus on recruitment of foreign media companies in Asia and Middle East, and domestic entities in the Silicon Valley and Boston areas.

New York City’s media industry employs over 300,000 people and accounts for $30 billion in annual revenue. Although today’s NYC media companies account for nearly half of the national revenue in magazines, books and broadcast television, the growth of these traditional media sectors is expected to slow down through 2015. However, the new types of digital media, such as gaming and social networking, are expected to spread significantly in this time period.