Tech Giants Look To New York For Space And Talent

On the latest episode of Today In Five:

Tech companies are increasingly looking to establish their presence in New York City, creating job openings and drawing in top tech talent to the city.

  • Walmart Media Group, the advertising arm of the retail giant, unveiled a self-serve ad portal enabling marketers to easily purchase search and sponsored product ads. The move aims to give advertisers more transparency and control over their ads. The retailer also revealed deals with third parties like Flywheel Digital as part of the new Walmart Advertising Partners program. The new capabilities promise to streamline and enhance advertisers’ ability to target ads to the right customer at the right time through automation and easy access to data about Walmart shoppers both online and offline. The retail giant’s enhancement of its advertising offerings is part of a larger trend. Other retailers like Amazon and Target have also been improving their advertising platforms as brands look for alternatives to Facebook and Google.
  • Amazon announced that its Fire TV platform now has over 40 million users, up from the 34 million it claimed in May of 2019. The increase puts Amazon’s platform above competitor, Roku, which reported 32.3 million active accounts during its Q3 2019 results this past November. Roku and Fire TV have proven to be fierce competitors, with Roku’s TV hub spurring Amazon to launch its own free streaming service through its subsidiary, IMDb. While Roku has benefitted from its reputation as a neutral platform providing access to any streaming service, Amazon has been evolving to better support its rivals’ streaming services, including most recently YouTube, YouTube TV, and Apple TV’s app.
  • Little Caesars Pizza has partnered with DoorDash to add delivery to its operations for the first time in its 60-year history, as more chains face pressure to get foods to customers beyond their restaurants. Beginning Monday, Little Caesars will add delivery via DoorDash from most of its nearly 5,000 stores. The new delivery deal could present new competition for rivals Dominos, Pizza Hut, and Papa Johns who have invested heavily in their delivery options. During an interview, Little Caesars Chief Executive said, “The consumer is going toward home delivery.” More restaurants are making their food available through delivery companies as customers increasingly migrate to those online platforms. A recent survey of 2,500 diners found that 26% had used an online delivery service in September 2019, up 10% from a year earlier. 

New York City On Track To Be Next Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley has long been known as the top hub for tech talent and advancement, but could it be facing a new rival? New York has been at the center of the top tech companies search for new office space. Facebook was among those searching for new office space in New York , wanting space big enough to fit as many as 6,000 workers, more than double the number it currently employs in the city. The company’s move is part of a rush by the West Coast technology giants to expand in New York City. The rapid growth is turning a large part of Manhattan into one of the world’s top tech hubs.

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google already have big offices along the Hudson River, from Midtown to Lower Manhattan, or have been searching for new spaces, often competing with one another for the same space. In total, the companies are expected to have roughly 20,000 workers in New York by 2022. The growth in New York is occurring largely without major economic incentives from the city and state governments following the outcry last year over at least $3 billion in public subsidies that Amazon was offered to build a corporate campus in Queens. The retail giant canceled its plans abruptly in February but is continuing to add jobs in the city at a slower pace. 

Tech companies are choosing to tap into New York’s wealth of talent. The number of tech jobs in New York City has surged 80% in the past decade according to the New York State Comptroller’s office. Since 2016, the number of job openings in the city’s tech sector has jumped 38%. In November, New York had the third-highest number of tech openings among United States cities, behind just San Francisco and Seattle. 

Cities across the country and around the world have attempted to establish themselves as worthy rivals to Silicon Valley. New York City is certainly not anywhere near overtaking the Bay Area as the nation’s tech leader, but it is increasingly competing for tech companies and talent.