New media is one of New York's fastest-growing industries. The importance of the industry to New York was evident as early as 1994 to investment banker Brian Hirey, who began convening informal get-togethers with interested parties to exchange ideas and encourage development. The formulization of the industry was taken a step further when the task force made up of representation from the public and private sectors, and academia began taking a look at how to create an information technology district and provide support for emerging new media businesses.
The Silicon Alley includes businesses that provide on -line (Internet, or World Wide Web) and CD-ROM products and services. It also includes many parts of well-established industries such as publishing, broadcasting and advertising, where firms use emerging technologies to distribute their products. Another high-growth part of this industry is "intranet" development, which concerns use of Web technologies for internal corporate communications and related purposes.
The new media industry in New York is also characterized by hyper-accelerated rates of change and unusually high levels of cooperation between competitors. These attributes are particularly apparent at 55 Broad Street. Tenants in the building include full-service ad agencies and media companies as well as specialist ISP's and programmers. Because of the constantly-changing technology, firms of all sizes at 55 Broad Street find it useful to share ideas, concepts and programming code with one another.SILICON ALLEY