Creative industries: Setting the research agenda (2009)

Creative Business & Entrepreneurship | 16 September 2011
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The European debate
Throughout Europe, studies about creative industries have been carried out with the aim of pinpointing the importance of this sector for the overall economy (Hölzl, 2008).

Since the end of the 1990s, studies about creative industries have been carried out throughout Europe— both national, regional and also cross-national analyses have been conducted. A comparison of the available publications shows that the understanding of the sector, and even the terminology (creative industries vs. cultural industries)— varies from country to country and also within countries the definitions differ from region to region. Reasons for those differences are, for example, the historical development of countries / regions or different orientations concerning national cultural politics.

Since then the culture and creative industries subsequently gained a new importance on the political agenda. Both in the Maastricht Treaty, the EU Lisbon process for the strengthening of economic growth in Europe as well as in the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity, the topic has gained central attention (Fesel & Söndermann, 2007). The study “The Economy of Culture in Europe” commissioned by the European Commission in 2006 has been the starting point of a quick political revaluation of the creative industries in Europe and its member states (KEA, 2006). In its analyses the study makes a distinction between “culture” and “economy”. It argues that the EU has been formed on the basis of economical and market forces. It creates a distinction between the cultural sector, subdivided in an industrial and non-industrial sector; and the creative sector.

The KEA study proposes a new concentrical framework with the core art fields at the centre, expending through the cultural industries, creative industries into related industries at the outer circle. The core art field and cultural industries create the cultural sector; whose outputs are exclusively “cultural”. The creative and related industries are part of the “creative sector”; they use culture as an added-value for the production of non-cultural products.

Circles Sectors Sub-sectors Characteristics
Visual artsCrafts
Paintings - Sculpture

* Non industrial activities

* Output are prototypes and potentially copyrighted works (i.e. these works have a high density of creation that would be eligible to copyright but they are however not systematically copyrighted, as it is the case for most craft works. Some performing arts productions and visual arts, etc.)

Performing arts Theatre - Dance -
Circus - Festivals

HeritageMuseums - Libraries -
Archaological sites -
Film & video * Industrial activities aimed at massive reproduction.

* Output are based on copyright.

Television & radio
Video games
MusicRecorded music market
Live music performances revenue of collecting societies in the music sector.
Books & pressBook publishing - Magazine and press publishing
DesignFashion design - graphic
design - interior design -
product design

* Activities are not necessarily industrial and may be prototypes

* Although outputs are based on copyright, they may include other intellectual property inputs (trademark for instance).

* The use of creativity (creative skills and creative people originating in the arts field of cultural industries) is essential to the performances of these non cultural sectors.

PC Manufacturers, MP3 player manufacturers, mobile industry, etc. * This category is loose and impossible to circumscribe on the basis of clear criteria. It involves many other economic sectors that are dependent on the previous circles, such as the ICT sector
Fig 2. Deliniation of the cultural and creative sectors. (KEA, 2006); The "cultural industries" activities are illustrated in the "core arts field" and circle 1; the "creative industries" are illustrated in circles 2 and 3.

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