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Call for Evidence

A creative future

The Communications and Digital Committee is launching an inquiry into the future of the UK’s creative industries. The Committee invites written contributions by Friday 2 September 2022. The Committee expects to hold oral evidence sessions from early September.


There are major changes on the horizon for the UK’s creative industries. These are shaped by a range of national and global trends. This inquiry will examine some of the most significant changes expected over the next 5-10 years arising from the effects of new technologies, and explore what is needed from the skills and talent pipeline to ensure the UK’s creative industries can thrive in this fast-changing world. It will also consider the role of innovation and organisational adaptation.

Technological development is just one of many forces driving change in the sector, but its impacts are likely to be particularly significant. Creative content production is likely to be affected by new technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, which could supplement, enhance or in some cases replace human creative work. Rapid advances have already taken place in some areas, from the creation of art and music through to narration and voiceovers.

Audience engagement is another area that is becoming more digitalised. Developments in immersive experiences such as augmented or virtual reality look set to offer new ways of creating and delivering cultural content, from performances to painting. Organisations are increasingly turning to digital services to attract and retain audiences and customers.

Some business models may change significantly. The impact of streaming on the music and screen industries is already well known, even if its long-term effects are not fully understood. New forms of creating, distributing and paying for creative content and services may affect business models across the sector.

As these trends develop there will be positives and negatives, opportunities and risks. They are likely to affect large institutions, small and medium sized organisations, as well as the freelancers that constitute a major part of the creative industries workforce. They will put further pressure on the need for a system that delivers the right skillsets and talent pipeline for the jobs of the future.

Before the pandemic, the UK’s creative industries were growing more than five times faster[1] than the national economy, generating £111.7 billion for the UK in 2018. Provisional data[2] indicate a positive trend in their economic contribution in 2021, bouncing back from the setbacks during the first year of the pandemic. As the creative industries face new challenges over the next 5–10 years, policymakers and industry will need to ensure the right education, innovation and organisational adaptation frameworks are in place to take advantage of the changes ahead.

Inquiry questions

  1. Which areas of the creative industries face the greatest potential for disruption and change in the next 5–10 years, and what impact could this have?  a)What changes are expected in the way creative/cultural content is produced; the way audiences are engaged (for example through digital or immersive experiences); and the way business models operate?
  2. What skills will be required to meet these emerging opportunities and challenges?
  3. What actions are needed from the Government and local authorities to ensure there is an appropriate talent pipeline equipped with these skills?  a) How can this be sufficiently flexible to take account of the pace of change in the sector?
  4. What actions are needed from industry to support the talent pipeline development?  a)What actions are needed from organisations in the creative industries to prepare for and accommodate the requirements of the future workforce?
  5. What role do innovation and research & development play in addressing the future challenges facing the creative industries?  a)What actions are needed from the Government, funding bodies and sector organisations to support innovation, and research & development?
  6. How effective are the Government’s existing strategies at supporting the creative industries to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead?
  7. What lessons can the UK’s creative industries learn from other countries, and other sectors?

Further notes

There are many ways of categorising and defining the creative sector. The Government refers to the ‘creative industries’, which it has defined as “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”. UNESCO has referred to the ‘creative and cultural industries’, which it has defined as activities “whose principal purpose is production or reproduction, promotion, distribution or commercialisation of goods, services and activities of a cultural, artistic or heritage-related nature”. Our inquiry will focus principally on a sub-set of areas including:

  1. Music, performing and visual arts
  2. Museums and galleries
  3. Publishing
  4. Gaming, film, TV, video, photography
  5. (Digital and design services which provide a core input across the areas above)

[1]   Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, UK’s Creative Industries contributes almost £13 million to the UK economy every hour (6 February 2020):

[2]   Creative Industries Council, Positive Trend In Economic Recovery Of UK Creative Industries From Pandemic (4 May 2022):

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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