Digital Storytelling an Emerging Industry Sector in Kansas City

The Mid-America Regional Council recently published a report on Digital Storytelling in the Kansas City Metro that reveals digital storytelling as a growing industry sector in our metropolitan area.  The study reports that 34,743 digital storytelling jobs are already in place in the metropolitan area.  That total is expected to grow by 15.2 percent by 2022.  The study defines digital storytelling as “…the use of computer, digital and web technologies to create narrative solutions that are enhanced by their creative use of media.”

The report provides information that clarifies what digital storytelling means in terms of its business results.  Key disciplines include video and photography, media production, multimedia animation, scriptwriting and story editing, sound and sound editing, web development and computer graphics engineering.  It identifies common products such as story-based ads, e-cards, smartphone and tablet apps, animated features, stop-motion video, motion graphics and story-based computer games.

The report provides a list of Kansas City businesses that rely on digital storytelling solutions for their success.  Some businesses such as VML, Barkley and Global Prairie rely on digital storytelling to support their advertising and promotion businesses.  Others such as Hallmark Cards, T2 Studios and Propaganda3 use digital storytelling solutions to support their multimedia production businesses.  Other subsectors identified for digital storytelling businesses included educational media, new media technology, news and entertainment, video production and web and social media.

With funding from the KC Accelerator report, MARC developed the report to raise awareness of the digital storytelling industry to Kansas City’s growing information technology sector. Victoria Ogier, Workforce Development Project Manager for MARC, states that “Thanks to labor market information, MARC is able to share this valuable information that helps the region identify real-time workforce needs and support partnerships that can implement programs and increase employment and training opportunities in order to meet the talent demand and workforce needs of local creative IT companies”.  Ryan Weber, President of KCNext points out that “text to be added here”.”

To explore further opportunities for digital storytelling in Kansas City, the Mid-America Regional Council is partnering with KCNext, the Kansas City Area Development Council and the University of Missouri to apply for an Economic Development Administration Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance Program grant. If awarded, this grant would provide funding to create a regional economic development strategy for growing a stronger digital storytelling industry cluster in Kansas City.