Sectors of the creative industries are formed by the business activities based on individual creativity, skill and talent. They are also the ones that have the potential for capital formation and job creation through the use of intellectual property. The sectors mainly include advertising, architecture, art, antique shops, computer and video games, crafts, design, fashion design, film and video, music, performing arts, publishing, software, television and radio.
These areas are mainly related to the high added value and significant impact on the quality of people’s lives. Often, their products directly form and shape the environment in which we live (design, fashion, architecture, and mass media). Their economic potential is based primarily on the ability to utilize and implement ideas or individual talent.
Many studies confirm that the creative sector is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy, and, in times of crisis, the entities that compose it are better able to adapt to new conditions. In this regard, based on significant research, Richard Florida (The Rise of the Creative Class, 2002), the modern and frequently cited author, proved that the presence and density of creative people living and working in the same place or area are directly related to the attractiveness of the location, its economic performance, and competitiveness.
Invention, innovation, creativity and talent are increasingly important factors in the economy and can be an instrument of stabilization of the economy in the current crisis. For example, today, workers working with knowledge (i.e. knowledge workers) account for 42% of the population in the UK and almost half of the national GDP. According to sociological surveys, 70% of jobs in the US created after 1998 require talent or creative approach. In 2005, the European Commission developed an extensive study on the economy of culture, according to which the creative sector is the fastest growing of all the areas (annual growth by 12.5%), generating 2.6% of GDP in the European Union.
Economic trends of recent decades foreshadow that the economy of the 21st century is and will be based on entirely different principles than it was in the period of industrial or post-industrial expansion. At present, the symbolic value of products begins to outweigh all other values,, and power, prestige, and money are moving into commodities based on intellectual property (data, software, news, entertainment, advertising, etc.). Successful companies sell a lifestyle instead of goods, manage stories instead of factories and use an intuitive and aesthetic language in their communications. Creativity has become a key word – values are generated by the use of a creative human mind. Focusing on the creative workforce is thus the most important strategy for the sustainable economy.
Creative industries are characterized by significant sector overlaps (cross-sectoral), an excellent representation of small businesses, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons (this is the area with the highest rate of self-employment), the need for relatively little initial capital, high added value and sustainable productivity.
Since the creative economy produces a particular segment of economic processes and business environment, specific measures can help its development that take into account differences in the economy chain in the development of creative products and activities.
These are especially:
- The specific distribution of necessary investments (expensive production, inexpensive reproduction; reinvestment of profits);
- Non-standard business models often based on the unpredictable reactions of customers;
- The corporate sector structure (a few large, global players, and the core consisting of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises);
- Brand new models of work organisation and the infrastructure resulting from it (virtual working environment, clustering, accumulation of business activities and intentions, etc.).
Because the processes and the functioning of the creative economy are significantly different from the traditional understanding of economic processes, the so-called creative ecology is mentioned increasingly. It consists of the creative industries and individuals, commercial and non-profit organisations (e.g. arts organizations), and together they represent a significant contribution to local, regional and national economies. The creative ecology includes non-profit cultural organisations, commercial companies, independent artists, and creative professionals such as architects, or musicians, along with the physical and virtual infrastructure that supports their activities (e.g. education, research, skills development, and lifelong learning and development).