Creative Industries: Time to Let Loose a Creative Force
Koenig, Peter, The Independent (London, England)
Janice Hughes, managing director of London-based Spectrum Strategy, a consultancy specialising in media and information technology, has spent the past two months investigating the creative industries in Britain. She talks here to Peter Koenig about her conclusions:
PK What is the current state of Britain's creative industries?
JH Basically, strong. Britain is doing well in a sector of the world economy with high growth rates and expanding markets. This sector will continue to grow as new digital technologies spur demand for more varied content across all media. Currently, we are number one in book publishing in the world, number two in computer games, and number two in music - although, for our size, our music industry is performing twice as well in terms of exports as the US music industry. The challenge, as one of our consultants, Anna Brown, puts it, is that our creative people are working away in basements, attics, and cottage industries. They have little capital. Consequently, they have no negotiating power. The global players who control rights and distribution mechanisms inevitably win the game. Take one example: between 35 and 40 per cent of the computer games played worldwide were developed in the UK. But only half the computer games on the market are attributable to British-owned publishers. The talent is here, but not the infrastructure to support it. Over the next decade, foreign film studios will spend an estimated pounds 2.5bn to make movies here. But the London Film Commission, which fields 40,000 inquiries a year, is supported in promoting film-making in the UK by a grant of just pounds 144,000. PK What would the creative industries look like if their economic potential were maximised? JH The creative industries generated pounds 55bn in revenues last year and accounted for 975,000 jobs. If the sector grew by only 4 per cent a year to 2007 it would then generate pounds 81bn in revenues and account for 1.5 million jobs. But there is no reason we should not set a bolder target - with a 10 per cent growth rate, the annual revenues of the creative industries would reach pounds 142bn in 10 years. The key is to identify where the profits go. In film, for example, the greatest profit lies in distribution. We should aim to capture a much higher share …
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Publication information: Article title: Creative Industries: Time to Let Loose a Creative Force. Contributors: Koenig, Peter - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: February 15, 1998. Page number: 7. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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