- 31st May 2019
To help you stay on top of the latest developments, we've put together this new roundup of stories; it covers the most important updates from both Leeds and the wider digital landscape.
Leeds prepares for Channel 4’s arrival
Last year, we learned that the broadcaster Channel 4 was opening an office in Leeds. In response to this, Leeds City Council is taking a closer look at the wider needs of Leeds’ creative sectors.
The Yorkshire Evening Post reported that Leeds City Council has asked for views on the workspace currently available for Leeds’ cultural, digital and film sector. The info from the consultation will feed into a plan focussing on affordable workspace for people working in these sectors. The council will also fund a small grants programme for creative industries.
The Channel 4 headquarters will be located in the Majestic building, a former cinema and nightclub opposite the railway station. It’s also very close to Gloss’ headquarters, making this an exciting time for the Gloss team! Some experts anticipate an age of prosperity thanks to Channel 4’s presence in the city. Since Leeds is already a great place for creative industries, this is an excellent time for professionals to look for creative work in the Leeds area.
The Tech Nation 2019 report is in
Yorkshire is an excellent choice for digital technology firms, and a new report confirms it! The report is from digital network Tech Nation, and it shines a spotlight on Yorkshire’s success in this industry.
According to the report, Leeds is one of the UK’s top ecommerce investment locations. Almost 8,700 digital tech businesses make their home in the wider Yorkshire area, while Yorkshire’s digital tech industry has a turnover of £3.7 billion. Yorkshire’s success reflects wider growth in the UK’s tech sector; last year, the UK managed to attract 5% of global high-tech scaleup investment. This placed us fourth in the world, ahead of Germany, France and Sweden.
The key message here is that Leeds is going from strength to strength as a place to do business. As the rest of the article will show, there are plenty of exciting opportunities here for professionals interested in the latest technologies. Digital marketing jobs will remain popular in Leeds for the foreseeable future.
More calls for gamers to turn to Leeds
Whether you’re into Candy Crush or Call of Duty, one thing is clear; video games are serious business. TechCrunch reports that video game revenue topped $43 billion last year, beating the film industry by a slim margin. A small number of those games are made right here in Leeds, but that number could get bigger in the near future.
In an article for Tech Nation Jamie Sefton, MD for the Game Republic industry network, argues Yorkshire is one of the key drivers of the UK’s gaming industry. He points to institutions like Hull University, who offers a respected course on the C++ programming language. He also highlights game developers like Rockstar; the Grand Theft Auto developer has an office right here in Leeds.
There are also several different spaces for Yorkshire game developers to come together. Leeds Games Toast are a series of events for games developers that run twice a month. The Yorkshire Games Festival, meanwhile, is a wider celebration of the medium, with workshops, masterclasses and many other activities.
Anyone interested in developing video games should consider Leeds as a place to look for work. With the industry (and Leeds) continuing to do well, there are plenty of opportunities for anyone wanting to develop the next gaming hit.
Sheffield Star is first of JPI Media publication websites to go mobile-first
The Star, a Sheffield-based newspaper, has overhauled its website to focus on mobile users. According to Prolific North, the change was driven by the paper’s readership; 75% of the site’s users access it via smartphone. The new site also loads faster and has less intrusive ads.
The shift to a mobile-first design suggests that local newspaper websites are starting to take a vital step forward in today’s digital landscape. The Star’s overhaul might also be part of a wider strategy by JPI Media, the company that owns the Star newspaper. JPI Media bought out Johnston Press late last year, and we may see similar moves from the other newspapers JPI owns.
The Star’s redesign helps to emphasise the importance of mobile-friendly design. Browsing on mobile devices (like phones and tablets) has long been the most popular way to browse the web. A keen understanding of mobile-friendly site design is essential for today’s digital professionals.
NASA to influence every industry ever
NASA’s Apollo spaceflight program saw man land on the moon in 1969, but it wasn’t just a triumph of human ingenuity. It inspired dozens of different technologies, many of which migrated to public life. Smoke detectors, microchips and memory foam are just some of the inventions we use thanks to NASA’s research.
That tradition is set to continue thanks to NASA’s continuing Mars missions. Wired UK has published an article on the subject, examining NASA’s legacy in our technological landscape. It notes that although today’s NASA receives much less funding than in the 1970s, it works closely with other spacefaring nations to learn how it can work most effectively.
Although a manned mission to Mars is still some way off, we’re already seeing some discoveries migrate to our day-to-day lives. NASA engineers have discovered an omega-3 fatty acid that’s found its way into infant formula. They’ve also developed a new tyre that’s highly resistant to punctures, and may appear on car wheels in the future.
The question, of course, is how this affects digital marketers and other creative professionals. At the moment, these exciting new technologies are still in their infancy. But as research into Mars missions continues, we can expect new campaigns to market and promote these NASA-inspired products. Space fans and digital marketers alike should keep an eye on NASA’s exploits, to ensure they’re prepared for a whole new marketing challenge.
VR is lending a helping hand in healthcare
Virtual reality is one technology that’s struggling to find a mass audience. Devices like the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR allow people to bring virtual reality into the home, but they come with a hefty price tag. However, it turns out the technology is finding a new lease of life in unexpected places.
CNET has published an article examining VR’s use in hospice care. A hospice patient with terminal cancer had been due to take a cruise with his wife before illness prevented him. Fortunately, his nurse had the bright idea to load their destinations into a VR headset, allowing them to see places on their cruise from the comfort of their own home.
This use of VR for healthcare isn’t an isolated incident. The VR market for healthcare alone is doing very well, and expected to be worth almost $7 billion by 2026. VR is also finding its way into many other places, including workplace training, e-commerce marketing and even construction design.
We aren’t going to be living in Ready Player One any time soon; VR is still a relatively young technology. However, the technology is slowly growing in popularity, and it’s doing very well here in Leeds. Leeds-based Pure Technology Group recently launched a range of VR services, while escape room provider Tick Tock Unlock launched a VR experience at the Leeds International Festival. Digital professionals interested in virtual reality have plenty to look forward to in the future.
Is your agency ready for the era of data?
Businesses in Leeds thrive in many different industries, but the biggest might be the most intangible. According to Business Up North, many professionals think data offers the best opportunity for Leeds’ economy.
The idea comes from a recent healthcare-tech sector event, which 80 professionals attended. All of the people who attended thought healthcare data was a big opportunity for Yorkshire. Of these people, 67% believed the data, digital and tech sector would do best in Leeds’ economy.
NHS Digital collects and analyses healthcare data from across the UK to aid its research. It works alongside public and private organisations to stimulate growth in its sector. It also has its head office in Leeds and employs 2,000 staff in the region, which helps explain the pro-data stance we’re seeing at this event.
Of course, data doesn’t just have value in healthcare. Several Leeds digital agencies are drawing on different data streams to create more engaging, relevant content for their customers. Tools such as Moz also allow us to maximise exposure for our work, thanks to their treasure trove of SEO data.
While ‘data’ can seem like a nebulous concept, it’s actually an essential part of how many companies do business. It represents a massive economic opportunity, to the point some businesses are focussing on data-led services. A keen understanding of what data can do for a company will give you a big advantage.
Exciting opportunities await
By now, we hope one thing is clear; Leeds is an exciting place for many different digital and marketing professionals to work in. While major broadcasters like Channel 4 are having a positive impact on Leeds’ creative industries, its existing businesses are ready to jump on the latest technologies themselves. By having an awareness of what’s over the horizon, we hope you’ll be better equipped to find the job that’s right for you.
We’re always looking for new talent in the Leeds area, and we’d love to help you find your perfect job. If you’re looking for digital marketing jobs in Leeds, you can send us your CV here. Alternatively, if you’re a Leeds agency looking for new talent, you can submit your vacancy here. You can also give us a call on 08703 219788.