Otis College of Art and Design

2020 Entertainment and Digital Media

The largest-employing creative industry in California, Entertainment and Digital Media had 740,000 wage and salary workers in 2018, roughly 71% of the total Creative Economy workforce. Although not recording the highest percentage growth, the sector added the most workers from 2013 to 2018 with 138,000 wage and salary jobs. The Entertainment and Digital Media sector includes both legacy and emerging entertainment and media subsectors, which fall into six primary categories: Broadcasting, Emerging Digital Media, Film, Professional Services, Publishers, and Sound.

It is not always clear which firms are included in the Emerging Digital Media subsector. For example, the subsector includes firms engaged in Custom Computer Programming Services; Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services; and Internet Publishing and Broadcasting, which includes recognizable names like Google, Snapchat, and Buzzfeed. Yet a firm like Netflix, which is a prime example of what could be informally classified as “emerging digital media,” can include divisions and subsidiaries that fall under several other classifications. The entity formally known as “Netflix Inc.,” for instance, falls into the “Video Tape and Disc Rental” subsector of the Real Estate Rental and Leasing industry (due to the firm’s legacy in physical media distribution). “Netflix Studios,” on the other hand, would be included in the Film subsector as a Motion Picture Production & Distribution company. By its very nature, Emerging Digital Media challenges traditional industry classifications and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.