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New York nurtures new-media boom

Number of companies has grown 77%

New York is officially becoming an e-city.

The number of new-media companies in the New York area has grown 77% over the last three years, according to an industry survey released Monday by PricewaterhouseCoopers for New York New Media Association.

Sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Lucent Technologies, and EMC Corporation, among others, the nonprofit NYNMA has been tracking the state of the state’s new-media sector since 1995. According to the org, latest survey provides the industry’s most comprehensive analysis to date.

Among the more surprising results of the survey was the finding that more than half of New York new-media firms posted profits (totaling $2.5 billion) in the calendar year 1998, in spite of the much-reported losses by public companies in that period.

“I think that the survey really surpasses our expectations on every front … in job growth, contribution to the economy and, I think most excitingly, of the profitability of these companies,” org’s exec director Alice Rodd O’Rourke told Daily Variety. “New media is a job-creation engine for New York City the likes of which I do not think it has seen before.”

Current study surveyed north of 750 new-media firms with significant interests in the New York area — which includes adjacent portions of Connecticut and New Jersey.

Other highlights of study’s findings:

  • New York state-based new-media jobs have increased by 136% since 1997 to reach approximately 250,000 full-time, part-time, and freelance positions.

  • Total payroll for New York-area new-media firms has grown by roughly 55% annually, from $1.4 billion in 1995 to $8.3 billion in 1999.

  • New York-area Internet companies have raised $2 billion in venture capital financing and nearly $4 billion in IPO funding since 1997.

  • Manhattan had the highest concentration of the total of the New York area’s digital businesses (45% of which are located in the five boroughs of New York City).

  • Content design and development leads as the core product of New York-area firms.

The study is the third put out by the NYNMA, which runs monthly events and funding programs for its membership of more than 2,500 companies.

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