Introduction to the Creative Industries


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A lecture given to the LSE summer school in 2009.

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Introduction to the Creative Industries

  1. 1. Creative Industries and the Creative Economy: A Geographical Introduction
  2. 3. { Talk Outline } <ul><li>History of the creative industries </li></ul><ul><li>What do they do now and how do they work? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study: Film Industry and the computer games industry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where are they? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study: London </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The future for the creative economy? </li></ul>
  3. 4. { History of the ‘Creative Industries’ } <ul><li>In UK, Labour came to power in 1997 and soon emphasised their ‘Cool Britannia’ policy drive </li></ul>
  4. 6. { History of the ‘Creative Industries’ } <ul><li>In UK, Labour came to power in 1997 and soon emphasised their ‘Cool Britannia’ policy drive </li></ul><ul><li>Collectivised 13 ‘sub-sectors’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertising, architecture, arts and antiques, crafts, music, film and video, computer and video games, software, publishing, design, fashion, performing arts </li></ul></ul>
  5. 7. { History of the ‘Creative Industries’ } <ul><li>These are, however, by no means new (publishing, film, crafts…) </li></ul><ul><li>Adorno and Horkheimer (1947) attributed to the coining of the phrase ‘the culture industry’ – under modern capitalism, art and culture had become absorbed into the economy </li></ul>
  6. 8. { History of the ‘Creative Industries’ } <ul><li>The production of culture had become ‘economised’ and there were attempts at cultural policies to counter this (see O’Connor, 2007 for a historiography) </li></ul><ul><li>However, the ‘cultural industries’ became a term to refer to those sectors of the economy that were involved in the production of culturally-consumed goods </li></ul><ul><li>But there was a lack of a ‘voice’ for these industries, which impacts on the rights of workers, makes it difficult for firms to grow and curtails British comparative advantages </li></ul>
  7. 9. { History of the ‘Creative Industries’ } <ul><li>In May 1998, Lord Chris Smith wanted money from the treasury and a political agenda to recognise this and gain advantage from the IP, which at the time was not well regulated… </li></ul><ul><li>… hence the creative industries were born: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ 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, 1998). </li></ul></ul>
  8. 10. { What do they do now and how do they work? } <ul><li>The creative industries (and the definitions thereof) are the focus of intense debate in government, academia and in the private realm </li></ul><ul><li>How are they different from ‘other’ industries? (or within the CIs?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government support (more or less?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure (flatter?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People (multi-skilled) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Output (functionality versus fashion) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spatiality (concentrated or dispersed?) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 11. { What do they do now and how do they work? } <ul><li>The UK film industry is a good example of how intense government intervention has encouraged growth </li></ul><ul><li>UK Film Council set up in 2000 to promote the economic and cultural prominence of British cinema </li></ul><ul><li>Set up tax relief for production companies who shoot in Britain or produce ‘British films’ (similar tax schemes in Australia and Canada to lure ‘runaway production’ </li></ul><ul><li>A cultural test exists in order to ‘score’ how British a film is </li></ul>
  10. 13. { What do they do now and how do they work? } <ul><li>The computer game industry, in contrast, does not have such tax credits and the best UK talent is moving to Canada were the government DO have a tax credit scheme </li></ul>
  11. 14. { What do they do now and how do they work? } <ul><li>Structure-wise, the CIs are characterised by freelancers and project-based work (industrial definitions) </li></ul><ul><li>The people who work for CI firms are risk-takers, multi-disciplinary, ‘mavericks’ (occupational definitions) </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, are the ‘creative industries’ just confined to the 13 sub-sectors…? </li></ul>
  12. 15. For example, designers can be found in a multitude of different firms from different ‘industries’…
  13. 16. { What do they do and how do they work? } <ul><li>So, creative industries are difficult to ‘pin down’, as the overlap (e.g. machinima) and change quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-sectoral boundaries start to lose their veracity if one starts to look at what is actually going on… </li></ul>
  14. 17. { What do they do and how do they work? } <ul><li>Project-based work is crucial to the CIs and many people often work short-term, part-time contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Brings together different types of people and companies together to work toward a single goal </li></ul><ul><li>Often companies are set up precisely for a project (e.g. for a film – “Constant Gardener plc”, Red Pants ltd”) and then dissolved once the project is completed </li></ul><ul><li>Events are also important </li></ul>
  15. 18. Often products and the way they are designed can define the creative industries… …what are these?
  16. 24. { Where are they? } <ul><li>Fundamentally associated with the city </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, London accounts for 32% of CI jobs in UK </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Within the city, CI firms will be close together to benefit from economies of spatial agglomeration (or clustering) </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking is a critical success factor in the CIs (local ‘buzz’) </li></ul><ul><li>Not necessarily in office blocks or the city centre, but studios in the suburbs or operating out of their home </li></ul>
  17. 25. Top 100 publishing companies in London…
  18. 26. Soho film cluster (top 100 firms)…
  19. 27. Top 100 CI companies in London by postcode…
  20. 28. { Where are they? } <ul><li>Globally, the US houses the most productive and largest companies (the media majors, software etc), with few ‘global south’ cities </li></ul>
  21. 29. { Where are they? } <ul><li>As the CIs are considered part of the ‘new economy’ (or ‘knowledge economy’ or ‘information economy’), they are technologically deterministic </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, no wonder cities of the ‘global south’ do not fair well in CI production </li></ul><ul><li>The CIs as a concept, a predominantly a western phenomenon, but vibrant ‘subsectors’ exist outside the West; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bollywood & Nollywood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>North African music </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hong Kong film industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rio Carnival </li></ul></ul>
  22. 30. { The future of the creative economy } <ul><li>The creative industries are gaining popularity from national governments around the world (e.g. Korea, Singapore, Brazil, Russia) </li></ul><ul><li>Manufacturing firms will continue to use ‘creatives’ in their production processes </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-sectors will continue to blur as technology increases </li></ul><ul><li>Projects and events are increasingly important ways in which CIs organise themselves </li></ul>
  23. 31. { The future of the creative economy } <ul><li>Arguments that we need to ‘design our ways out’ of the global resource/climate change problems </li></ul><ul><li>A ‘cognitive revolution’ is underway? Based on the themes of creativity, innovation and interdisciplinarity </li></ul>
  24. 32. { Books/Further reading } Richard Caves (2000) – Creative Industries David Hesmondhalgh (2002) – Cultural Industries Richard Florida (2005) – Cities and the Creative Class John Howkins (2002) – The Creative Economy