Creative Industries

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A brief introduction

The “Creative Industries” has become a referential term for “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property” (DCMS, Creative Industries Mapping Document, 2001). According to the DCMS the following 13 industries are included: advertising, architecture, art and antiques, computer games, crafts, design, designer fashion, film and video, music, performing arts, publishing, software, TV and radio.

The definition though is not without controversy nor is it easily applicable on a broader, transnational scale. Key issues revolve around the complex nature of the creative industries and the lack of discernibility of a sector that is increasingly interconnected with the wider economy (not least because of the ongoing proliferation of new media technologies), the difficult relationship between commercial and cultural values and the fear of sacrificing the former for the latter, as well as the inadequate representation of micro businesses and the self-employed, who are actively shaping the landscape of the creative sector.

The growing attention to the creative industries, at least in the UK, is reflective of two consecutive effects: first, the emergence of a political discourse highlighting creativity as a central element of the ‘new economy’, which has the creative industries at its core, and secondly, substantial government investment in the creative industries to support regional, national and transnational growth. Those investments are tied together with a strong belief in the positive economic, social and cultural impact the creative industries are increasingly attested to have. Yet despite a growing evidence base, the accurate capturing of the creative industries and assessment of their impact remain central difficulties.