FROM THE DIRECTOR
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
CITY BUSINESS CASUAL
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!
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