Creative Industries definitions

Here are some Creative Industries definitions.

The creative industries sector is also referred to as the ‘creative and cultural industries‘ or the ‘creative and digital industries‘ or the ‘creative industry‘ within the ‘creative economy‘. Most recently they have been called the ‘Orange Economy‘ (La Economía Naranja) in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The terminology can be confusing!

Broadly speaking, the term ‘creative industries’ refers to a range of economic activities that are concerned with the generation and commercialisation of creativity, ideas, knowledge and information.

The ‘creative industries’ in a nutshell…

The term ‘creative industries’ describes businesses with creativity at their heart – for example design, music, publishing, architecture, film and video, crafts, visual arts, fashion, TV and radio, advertising, literature, computer games and the performing arts.

Further information…

The creative industries definition from the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is: ‘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.’

There are thirteen sub-sectors under the term ‘creative industries’ and these are: advertising; architecture; the art and antiques market; crafts; design; designer fashion; film and video; interactive leisure software; music; the performing arts; publishing; software and computer games; and television and radio.

The term ‘cultural industries’ is also used by some agencies, though this term relates to a more specific range of industries and can be regarded as a subset of the creative industries. The cultural industries are defined by UNESCO as ‘industries that combine the creation, production and commercialisation of contents which are intangible and cultural in nature; these contents are typically protected by copyright and they can take the form of a good or a service.’

Increasingly, the term ‘Creative and Digital Industries’ is used in the UK because of the importance of digital content and online services within the creative sector of the economy.

Read this excellent infographic, published by the Creative Industries Federation in 2019.

The creative industries have the potential to regenerate economies and create jobs and wealth. An example of a project to help creative and digital industries businesses to grow is the Liverpool Creative Growth Initiative. See the Creative Regeneration article and video which provides details of this project.

The digital sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK and internationally.

According to Wikipedia, a Creative Economy is based on people’s use of their creative imagination to increase an idea’s value. John Howkins developed the concept in 2001 to describe economic systems where value is based on novel imaginative qualities rather than the traditional resources of land, labour and capital.:[1] Compared to creative industries, which are limited to specific sectors, the term is used to describe creativity throughout a whole economy. Some observers take the view that creativity is the defining characteristic of developed 21st century economies, just as manufacturing typified 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Orange Economy (Economia Naranja) is a term coined by Felipe Buitrago Restrepo and Iván Duque, authors of “The Orange Economy, an infinite opportunity.”  They explain that orange, a pigment used in ancient Egypt to adorn the tombs of the pharaohs, is the dominant color for culture, creativity and identity.

UNESCO. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation works through its Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity and Creative Cities Network to strengthen cultural industries internationally by encouraging knowledge-sharing, capacity building, good practice and mentoring between its members. The Global Alliance promotes cultural diversity by strengthening the capacity of cultural industries to produce and distribute goods and services and help them gain access to national and international markets.

UNCTAD. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has introduced the topic of the “creative economy” in the world economic and development agenda. The creative economy is an emerging concept dealing with the interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology in a contemporary world dominated by images, sounds, texts and symbols.Today, the creative industries are among the most dynamic sectors in the world economy providing new opportunities for developing countries to leapfrog into emerging high-growth areas of the world economy. In implementing its mandate, UNCTAD has been proactive in promoting international action in the area of the creative industries, and hence, the creative economy, emphasizing their development dimension.The creative industries are at the crossroads of the arts, culture, business and technology. All these activities are intensive in creative skills and can generate income through trade and intellectual property rights.

According to Connect Americas, here are some definitions from institutions and organizations that have focused their attention on these industries.

  • United Nations Education Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO): The cultural and creative industries are those that combine the creation, production and commercialization of creative contents that are intangible and of a cultural nature. These contents are usually protected by Copyright and can take the form of a good or a service. Besides all artistic and cultural production, they include architecture and advertising.
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):  The creative industries are at the core of the creative economy, and are defined as cycles of production of goods and services that use creativity and intellectual capital as their main input. They are classified by their role as heritage, art, media and functional creations.
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): The Copyright-based industries are those that are dedicated, interdependent, or that are directly or indirectly related with the creation, production, representation, exhibition, communication, distribution or retail of Copyright protected material.
  • Department of Culture, Media and Sports of the United Kingdom (DCMS):  The creative industries are those activities based on creativity, individual talent and skill, and that have the potential to create jobs and wealth through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.
  • Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC): The content industries are: publishing, film, TV, radio, phonographic, mobile contents, independent audiovisual production, web contents, electronic games, and content produced for digital convergence (cross-media).

In Indonesia, BEKRAF describes the Creative Economy as follows:
“The creative economy is creating added value based on creativity that is protected by copyright, and originated from cultural heritage, knowledge and technology.”