Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

What's Next for Austin's Creative Economy?

According to, since 2001 tech firms like Apple, Google, and Facebook have expanded employment by 41 percent. This has lead to Austin resembling a smaller Silicon Valley – and Texas as a whole altering the face of its economy.

In keeping with Austin's renowned music scene, many of the region's exports are less about tangible services and more about entertainment and innovative ideas and applications. Economist and author Richard Florida christened such a move to a arts and knowledge-based economy as "The Rise of the Creative Class."

In Austin, creative class employers in technology, film, and gaming are forging a new form of digital entertainment.

Austin-based production company Rooster Teeth, best known for their hit parody show Red vs. Blue, produces up to 40 shows a week – both entertainment and reports on the tech and gaming world.

Rooster Teeth is among the new wave of content producers marketing their entertainment directly to the consumer. “There has been a major shift in the way that people develop and deliver content, and Rooster Teeth has always been at the forefront of that,” says Rooster Teeth fonder Bernie Burns.

“Texas has the reputation of being the last open frontier," says Matt Mullen, CEO of Rooster Teeth's commercial division. "And in terms of business it gives you the space to try anything."

Another case study: Powerhouse Animation, an animation studio based in Austin, who's benefiting from the creative economy.

“We get paid to be creative – people come to us for ideas, for pitches, for concepts," CEO Brad Graber says. Powerhouse has also established a branch in Los Angeles, in an effort to bring even more entertainment to the state.

Related Content