Click here to download the full report.
New Economic Impact Study Finds New York City is a “TV Town” with Growth of Television Production Resulting in Increased Full Time Employment for New Yorkers
October 15, 2015 - Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, and Media & Entertainment Commissioner Cynthia López today announced that New York City’s filmed entertainment industry now contributes $8.7 billion to the local economy, an increase of more than 1.5 billion, or 21 percent, since 2011. Full-time equivalent jobs in the city’s industry have grown 10 percent, from 94,000 to 104,000 over the last four years, according to an independent study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) that details the growth and economic impact of New York City’s media and entertainment industries. According to BCG’s report, New York City is one of only three cities in the world with a filming community large enough to enable a production to be made without needing any roles to be brought in from other locations, including cast, crew members, and the creative team. Additionally, a rich real-life history, iconic locations, diverse storytellers and top talent are among the reasons productions choose to film in New York City.
“There’s something special about New York City – and the TV and film industry has picked up on it. The filmed entertainment industry channels nearly 9 billion dollars into our local economy each year, supporting the creation of thousands of dependable good-paying jobs and showcasing the history, creativity and vivacity of our people and our city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “NYC has always been at the forefront of media and entertainment. The BCG’s independent study shows that we’ve escalated our growth to unprecedented levels, and will continue to do so over the next several years. That’s good news for audiences and that’s good news for New Yorkers.”
“New York City's film and TV production keeps heating up. This is where talent is coming to work, to shoot and to produce some of the best entertainment anywhere in the world. And every one of those productions means solid, career-track jobs for New Yorkers, and a boost for all the industries across the city that support these films and shows. It's a virtuous cycle, and it's one we're committed to expanding," said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.
“By citing the enormous local contribution of the media and entertainment industry, BCG’s report confirms – definitively and independently – what we’ve always known: NYC is the creative capital of the world,” said Cynthia Lopez, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “MOME is thrilled to support and encourage the hundreds of creative teams producing films, television series, and digital products throughout the five boroughs, ensuring the industry continues to play its leading role here in New York.”
“The media and entertainment industry is a key contributor to New York City’s economy,” said Sushmita Banerjee, Principal of Boston Consulting Group. “We continue to see steady growth, particularly in sub sectors like scripted television. It is significant that crews are increasingly able to work back-to-back on these productions, year-round, enabling them to forge sustainable careers in the industry.”
"In New York City, a vibrant TV and film industry goes hand in hand with strong local economies and good-paying jobs," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "Our city is the backdrop for some of the most iconic moments in cinema history; our streets and skylines are coveted around the world. This welcome surge in the growth of New York City's media and entertainment sectors will support innovation, job opportunities, and career training for thousands of New Yorkers across the five boroughs and cement our city's place on the silver screen."
The recent growth in TV production is driven by the proliferation of networks, including digital and cable, commissioning scripted content. This, in turn, has fueled competition for television audiences. In 2004, three networks broadcast scripted shows shot in New York City while ten years later, 19 networks had commissioned dozens of original series. The 2014-2015 season saw an increase of episodic series, from 29 series in the 2013-2014 season to a record 46 series in the 2014-2015 season, the largest increase of series produced in New York City from one season to another in city history. This trend is expected to continue through at least the next five years, representing a strong opportunity for the New York production industry. Historically, production crews would have down-time between movies or in the summer break between TV series. Today, TV productions are not only more numerous, but they are produced year-round. This combination has enabled a critical shift toward dependable year-round employment in the industry.
While television has seen the greatest increase, New York City was home to 242 film productions in 2014 and as of this month, 256 films have been shot so far in 2015. Several large-scale films, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and Money Monster, are among the blockbusters that have been in production in the city this year.
"It is no surprise that New York City's entertainment industry is raking in billions of dollars for our local economy. Brooklyn has become 'Hollywood East', a center for filmmaking that has created thousands of jobs and opportunities for our residents. We are proud to host productions for stories that hit screens big and small, stories that cumulatively garner massive worldwide audiences and help spotlight what makes our borough so special," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“Our city’s scale, sights, and wealth of talent make it the obvious home for this scripted TV production renaissance,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “It’s exciting that this record-setting production boom is steadily creating more full-time jobs for New Yorkers.”
State Senator Marty Golden said, "The film tax credit which I have long championed in New York has led to unprecedented job growth and tax revenue. New York has always been central to stories on the big screen, but many times New York City was recreated on a set, because it was too expensive to film here. We changed that and now we see camera crews and actors filming New York scenes right here on the streets of the Big Apple on a regular basis."
"Lights, camera, jobs!" said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "A thriving film industry means good jobs for more New Yorkers. And when paired with community and neighborhood engagement, we have the formula for a real blockbuster. Thank you to the City, State and colleagues for their continued work."
"The entertainment industry is an essential part of the economy of our great city," said Council Majority Leader and Chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee Jimmy Van Bramer. "This study confirms what many of us have heard anecdotally for a while. From Silvercup to Kaufman to Steiner to Broadway Stages, we are home to the most robust film and entertainment industry our city has ever seen."
“The media and entertainment sector is booming in New York City,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the Committee on Technology. “I didn’t need a report to see the impact that this industry is having on the city. Film crews are all around and they create a boost for the local economy. People flock to New York City with dreams of making it big and it’s good to know that more people are seeing their dream become a reality.”
“New York has emerged as a premier destination for film and television production, and this report shows that it not only adds glamour to our city, but adds billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to our economy as well,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “The film and television industry is clearly growing in the five boroughs, particularly in Brooklyn, which has two of the largest studios in the country in Broadway Stages and Steiner Studios, the Made in NY Media Center, Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, and Pratt’s recently expanded Film/Video Department. Given the rise in revenues and tremendous increase in jobs – and the record 46 series filmed here last year – we must do everything possible to support further expansion of this industry in New York City.”
“With a number of our shows in production here at any given time, Warner Bros. maintains a year-round presence in New York,” said Lisa Rawlins, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Warner Bros. Entertainment. “We greatly appreciate the incredible support from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the many neighborhoods in which we film. From the Bronx to Staten Island, we are proud to be working in New York.”
"Over the last several years, we have seen substantial growth in feature and episodic post-production in New York City,” said Zak Tucker, President of Harbor Picture Company. “With the continued support of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment we have expanded our infrastructure investment and staffing several times over and this has helped solidify New York as a world-class destination for feature and episodic post production."
“This report illustrates what SAG-AFTRA members have known all along: the entertainment industry is a critical – and growing – component of New York City’s economy,” said Mike Hodge, SAG-AFTRA National Vice President of New York and New York Local President. “The massive increase in production and the now year-round production work schedules have boosted employment and pumped billions into the local economy. That is great news for SAG-AFTRA members, and all those who work with us to make film and TV projects come to life in New York City.”
"MOME represents government at its best,” said Doug Steiner, President of Steiner Studios. “They make it easy for film and television companies to bring their work here. They make sure it's a good experience. And they make sure they come back again with their next project. Obviously they're doing a great job."
“The logistical support we receive from MOME and the tax incentive program that the state of New York offers allows us to shoot many CBS shows in New York City, including Blue Bloods, Elementary, Limitless, Madam Secretary, and The Good Wife,” said John Orlando, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at CBS Corporation. “We value our relationship with the city and state, and with these tax incentives in place, look forward to continuing to produce many television projects here.”
"I've shot over 250 hours of prime time drama in NYC. I'm still discovering talent I've never met, places I haven't shot and craft personnel that are committed and creative. Made in New York has never been so good,” said Brooke Kennedy, Producer of “The Good Wife.”
"The Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting is extraordinarily important to the smooth functioning of day-to-day film and television production on the streets of New York City,” said Russ Hollander, Associate National Executive Director of the Director’s Guild of America. “The Directors Guild of America and its members appreciate the efficiency and commitment with which it handles both ordinary, everyday requests and the urgent, often difficult, situations that arise. The DGA is very happy that production continues to increase in New York and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the City, to keep production work – and the multitude of jobs that go with that work – thriving in New York City."
The report found several reasons for the increase in television in New York City. MOME’s staff ensures a one-stop-shop for productions, assisting production teams from the beginning of filming through the project’s release. The Office works closely with productions, which know they have the support of MOME, to ensure that on-location shooting is properly coordinated for a seamless filming experience. Moreover, the increased growth in television is a result of New York City’s ability to support productions. The support includes an extensive crew base, pool of actors, and state of the art sound stages – including future expansions of York, Silvercup and Steiner Studios. Today, productions are filming in all five boroughs for movie and television scenes that show a beach, a forest, or a Main Street in “Anywhere USA.” Additionally, New York State provides a film tax credit program which provides qualifying film and television productions a 30 percent credit on production expenditures.
As part of an effort to ensure a sustainable industry workforce, further solidify the production pipeline and attracting more productions, Commissioner Lopez and MOME have created initiatives and opportunities, working with industry partners and city agencies, including:
- The Writers Program designed to increase the number of television writing opportunities in New York City. The program will focus on the development and expansion of job opportunities for diverse writers with the mentorship of some of New York City’s most successful showrunners.
- The Assistant Editor Training and Mentorship Program for unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers to pursue careers in film and digital editing. As post production houses continue to invest in infrastructure in the city to capture the growth of the film and television industry, the program will provide on-the-job-training in feature film, television and documentary editing techniques from some of NYC’s most renowned award-winning editors.
- The Made in NY Career Panels conducted throughout the year focused on connecting New Yorkers to key industry leaders with the potential to cultivate job opportunities in film and television.
- The Made in NY Fellowship Program providing expanded resources and opportunities for diverse applicants in order to support a variety of perspectives and cultures through storytelling.
- The Made in NY Entrepreneur Innovation Grants, which range from $5,000 - $10,000 each, awarded to projects in early development focused on innovative approaches to content and delivery. The grants are open to projects and companies within Media/Technology, including virtual reality, gaming, filmmaking, animation, and post production.
- During the last year, MOME invested $1 million in scholarships and $500,000 for creative grants and marketing to the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, the nation’s only public film school housed on working film lot. The City’s overall contribution includes $4.7 million for construction, $2 million for scholarships, $1 million for curriculum and programming, and $500,000 for creative grants and marketing, totaling $8.2 million.
Additional Economic Impact
- The $1.6 billion increase since 2011 is a result of film and television production spending on items such as crew salaries, catering, location rentals, set construction, set decoration, costumes, and other needed supplies. This continued increase in spending creates a ripple effect through the city’s economy, creating more economic activity and jobs, indirectly supporting an additional 20,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
- The city is also home to a thriving independent movie scene with the largest concentration of documentary production in the United States. Theatre in New York City has also seen a steady upward trend in employment with a 2.1 percent annual growth and a strong growth in revenues (up 5.5 percent per year in the last four years), due to diversification of audiences and shows and the cross pollination of stories and acting talent from film and TV.
- Additionally, live filming in New York City – including morning and late night shows such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Late Show, and The Tonight Show – attract a yearly audience of 575,000 and generate $45 million in tourist revenue for the city.
- The study also examined how the local media and entertainment industry did during the financial crisis, finding that it outperformed the overall New York City and U.S. economies, lost fewer jobs, and grew more rapidly in the recovery. While the city’s media sector lost 10,000 in 2008-2009, within a few years it had gained 25,000 full-time equivalent positions.
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment commissioned the Boston Consulting Group to prepare this independent updated report. The 2015 results have been presented to MOME representatives, but BCG was responsible for the analysis and conclusions. The full report is available online.