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APRIL 2012
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To all of you who contribute to Seattle's vibrant economy:


Welcome to the April issue of The Indicator. This month, the insightful Chris Mefford spotlights how the convergence of Seattle's individual talent and technological savvy is creating content the world wants and the technology to distribute it.  This convergence means tremendous opportunities for ongoing innovation, job growth, and industry leadership through interactive media (this month's City Business Casual theme is also Interactive Media /Entertainment Business, happening April 12 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Alexis Hotel's Library Bistro). 


As always, Seattle By the Numbers shows some promising job growth here in Seattle, while The Daily Dozen continues to be a reflection of what you all care about.   Stay tuned as we continue to expand The Indicator to bring you the best data and statistics to help you understand our economy.


Please enjoy and, as usual, let us know what you think.


Steve Johnson, Director


With guest columnist Chris Mefford 

This month in the Economic Spotlight, Chris Mefford breaks down... 


Interactive Media, supported by the efforts of the Office of Economic Development (OED), Downtown Seattle Association, and enterpriseSeattle, is a strong sector of the local economy showing continued growth. Washington Interactive Network, the state's Interactive Media professional association, recently hosted their annual Power of Play conference. Data presented show the number of Interactive Media firms has more than doubled in only four years, from 150 to 350 companies. Total jobs in Interactive Media also show continued strength, with an annual growth rate of 4.5% from 2006 to 2011 (compared to statewide employment net growth of 0.3% per year on average) across this period.


Much of the growth historically has been in games, which in the past has largely defined Interactive Media, and appears to have continued strong growth prospects. Convergence into Interactive Media from other industries presents still more opportunities for our region, blurring lines between advertising, finance, art and many other industries traditionally viewed as separate and distinct. Indeed, Interactive Media is a field that appears to perpetually outgrow its own definition.


Interactive Media appears to expand into other sectors for two reasons. The first is consumers' obvious demand for screens and gadgets. Pew Research Center found that 90% of Americans now own a mobile phone, computer, game console, e-book reader or tablet computer. Big screens and screen-based gadgets are now primarily differentiated only by size and portability. Consumers expect all to serve as substitutes for each other and provide Internet connectivity, replacing phones, televisions and other discreet forms of communication and data transmittal.


Converging content is the second explanation for Interactive Media's permeation into other sectors. Content disseminated through Interactive Media appears to be boundless, including information resources, games, utilities and all forms of artistic expression. The result is Interactive Media's penetration and fostering of experience in new and far reaching ways. The Pew study also finds that 65% of Internet users already pay for content and that this acclimation will escalate, even as more content is made available free of cost.


Our region's comparative greatness in technology is an asset for all sectors to leverage for economic growth throughout the region. Economic development strategies for any industry sector and any community will benefit from including a clear technology strategy that builds on this regional strength.
Seattle By The Numbers is a great way for our readers to stay current on economic and business news through various numerical data. The figures can be national unemployment rates, various economic indicators, Seattle rankings, and data from different industry reports. Check out our favorite stats from March:




For more statistics, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics summary of the Seattle metropolitan area or the Seattle Times' Times Watch indicators.

Want to know what your fellow Daily Digest subscribers are reading? Here are the twelve most clicked-on articles of March:

  1. Ten dumb things said during a job interview 
  2. Six habits of true strategic thinkers 
  3. The pop traveler: twelve reasons to visit Seattle 
  4. Fifteen must-know tips to rock your Facebook timeline page 
  5. Seattle Mag lists biggest players in Seattle food scene 
  6. How to lose friends and alienate Twitter followers 
  7. Secrets of the most life-changing burger joint 
  8. 5 Steps to better leadership charisma 
  9. Seattle home buyers beware: it's a seller's market again 
  10. Is it useless to work more than 40 hours per week? 
  11. Largest development yet planned for backside of Pike/Pine 
  12. Seattle's urban island: Prototype 1 

City Business Casual is back on Thursday, April 12 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Alexis Hotel's
Library Bistro (92 Madison Street).  Special guests for this month's theme, Interactive Media/Entertainment Business, include:   

Sally Clark, Seattle City Council President

Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Councilmember  

Dan Black, Lead Developer Account Manager, XBOX 

John Giamberso, General Manager, Seattle Channel

Kristina Hudson, Executive Director, Washington Interactive Network 

Amy Lillard, Executive Director, Washington Filmworks

Shannon Loftis, Partner Studio Manager, Good Science Studio, Microsoft 

Chris Jacobs, General Manager, Sub Pop Records

Matthew Lee Johnston, Senior Producer, PopCap Games

Jeff Pobst, CEO, Hidden Path Entertainment, Inc.

Bill Schrier, Chief Technology Officer, City of Seattle

They will join business-savvy city staff, business owners, and advocates for a night of introductions and idea-sharing.  Please check out our website for more information!

Are you and your friends signed up for OED's Daily Digest? Compiled from over 100 news sources, the OED Daily Digest is the best way to keep up with the latest in business, technology, workforce, industry, real estate, maritime, energy and economic development news in Seattle.
**Some external sites may require a reader subscription for access to full-text articles**
CITY BUSINESS CASUAL - Returning May 10, with theme: What's Next for Green Business?

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