With Utah’s rise in Digital Media education, state has seen increase in jobs and revenue
The state of Utah currently accounts for $415 million in digital media revenue which consists of animations, graphics, film and digital gaming. The U.S. is the largest digital media market in the world reaching $445.7 billion, followed by Japan ($171.2 billion), Germany ($70 billion), United Kingdom ($70 billion) and China ($70 billion). With Utah being a part of why the U.S. is the largest digital media market in the world, the state has reaped many benefits of a growing economy.
One of the main reasons why Utah’s digital media industry continues to grow
is due to the emphasis placed on digital media at the state’s top universities. For example, Brigham Young University (BYU) located in Utah County, is sponsored by digital media company Pixar and The Princeton Review recently named the University of Utah the no. 2 school for Video Games Studies.
With many students graduating with the knowledge to succeed in digital media there are many great job opportunities for grads entering the work force. Utah has become the home for many successful and prominent gaming development companies like EA Games, The Walt Disney Co.’s Disney Interactive Studios, Epic Games Inc.’s CHAIR Entertainment Group, Silverlode Interactive and Smart Bomb Interactive.
In 2012 EA expanded their downtown Salt Lake City office and was able to produce games like The Sims, Hasbro’s Monopoly, Nerf and social gaming games like RISK: Fractions Game for Facebook. Social gaming will continue to be a big trend in the gaming industry and with EA Sports located in Utah, many industry experts believe the state will become a leader in that niche. Walt Disney Company, who acquired Avalanche, has announced their plan to place more focus on the gaming industry.
The Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership (UCAP) announced a strategy to double the number of digital media jobs to about 3,000 to increase revenue to $800 million in the next year.
UCAP’s goal for Utah is to become a “must connect to,” state for any business that wishes to succeed in the global digital media industry. This has many companies excitedly working to become a strong authority and capture the attention of other states. Not only is there a great deal of effort being placed into producing remarkable digital products, but a great deal of financial focus is being dealt out too.
It is clear that a number of companies are ramping up their financial strategies
. One key way that new digital media companies can network and find investors is through Silicone Slopes, a marketing hub specifically created for Utah-based technology companies. On Silicon Slopes
, start-up companies can filter and search through the investor directory to find Venture Capitalists, Investment Banks and other leads to help find equity during vital beginning years.
Although Utah still has a far way to go in order to become the “critical mass” of entertainment like California and New York, the state is on its way.