More than 30 million people work in the creative industries

Paris | 15.12.2015 | Ernst & Young releases the Cultural Times, the first global map of cultural and creative industries
Cover of the Cultural Times The first Cultural Times were published in December 2015. (image: Ernst & Young)

Cultural and creative industries (CCI) generate 29.5 million jobs worldwide. A new study published by by Ernst & Young states a global turnover of 2.25 billion US dollars, with Asia overtaking Europe and North America. CCI revenues worldwide exceed those of telecom services, and surpass India’s GDP. Within the total, the top three earners are television, visual arts, and newspapers and magazines. With 29.5 million jobs, CCI employ one percent of the world’s active population. The top three employers are visual arts (6.73 million), books (3.67 million) and music (3.98 million).

The comprehensive report about the impact of CCI on the global economy was jointly presented by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, France. Key findings of the Cultural Times include the multipolarity of the creative world as well as its essential role for the digital economy.

Cultural and creative content drives the digital economy

Asia-Pacific accounts for 743 billion US dollars in revenue and 12.7 million jobs (43 percent of CCI jobs worldwide). The Asian market is driven by a large population, and the region is home to CCI leaders, such as Tencent, CCTV and Yomiuri Shimbun. Europe and North America are the second and third largest CCI but CCI players see great development opportunities in these two regions. Though symbiotic, each world region is developing a momentum of its own.

CCI are a locomotive of the online economy — contributing 200 billion US dollars to global digital sales in 2013. Cultural and creative content also powers sales of digital devices, which totaled US$530b in 2013. Digital cultural goods are, by far, the biggest revenue source for the digital economy, generating 66 billion US dollars of B2C sales in 2013 and 21.7 billion US dollars of advertising revenues for online media and free streaming websites.

Cultural production is young, inclusive and entrepreneurial

Creative activities contribute sigificantly to youth employment and careers in CCI are relatively open to people of all ages and backgrounds. In Europe, CCI sectors typically employed more people aged 15–29 years than any other sector. Creative industries also tend to favor the participation of women compared with more traditional industries. Statistics compiled by the UK Government showed that women accounted for more than 50 percent of people employed in the music industry in 2014 (vs. 47 percent in the active population overall).

Moreover, creation is driven by small businesses or individuals, giving rise to agile and innovative employers. More than half of Canadian gaming developers say they are independent operators. In the US, artists are 3.5 times more likely to be self-employed than US workers overall.

Culture boosts cities' attractiveness

World-class cultural infrastructure is a catalyst for urban development: building a museum often offers opportunities to engage in large urban development projects and to develop a new “city brand” around cultural and creative industries. Such flagship projects boost a city's attractivenesss for tourists, talent and highly skilled workers.

Bilbao, in Spain’s Basque Country, is now an icon of culture-led urban regeneration: construction of the Guggenheim Museum led to the creation of more than 1,000 full-time jobs, and tourist visits have since multiplied eight-fold. Equally important, CCI make cities more livable, providing the hubs and many of the activities around which citizens develop friendships, build a local identity and find fulfillment.

The informal ecenomy is a vast reservoir of jobs

Informal CCI sales in emerging countries were estimated to total 33 billion US dollars in 2013 and to provide 1.2 million jobs. Performing arts are the biggest employers in the informal economy, providing unofficial music and theater performances (street performances, festivals and concerts that do not pay authors’ rights, private performances at marriages and funerals, etc.), which are often free for audiences. In Africa, these performances are sometimes funded by individual sponsors.

The study concludes that, to unlock the full potential of CCI, creators must be fairly remunerated for the use of their creative works, so that they can continue contributing to culture and the economy. In particular in the digital market, policy makers need to address the transfer of value currently taking place in favour of Internet intermediaries, and ensure that creators and the creative industries are paid fairly for the exploitation of their works.

Source: Ernst & Young
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