Creative industries (CI) or in a wider sense cultural and creative industries (CCI) have become world`s fastest growing economy in recent years. Creative industries generate enormous economic wealth around the globe. The global market value of creative industries is estimated at $1.3 trillion, says UNCTAD(1). Creative and culture industries in OECD countries mark annual growth rates of between 5 to 20%. CCIs in Europe create revenues of 535.9 billion EUR, and contribute to 4.2% of Europe’s GDP. The sector is the 3rd largest employer after construction, food and beverage activities.

The term ‘’creative industries’’ was first introduced in 1944, by Adorno and Horkheimer. They used the term to describe creation, industrial reproduction and mass distribution of cultural works.

Later on in 1990`s, in Australia and UK, the concept further developed into the concept of creative economy. The creative economy underlines creativity and perceives it as the engine of innovation, technological change and as a comparative advantage in business development.

For the European Parliament (2016) CCI are defined as “those industries that are based on cultural values, cultural diversity, individual and/or collective creativity, skills and talent with the potential to generate innovation, wealth and jobs through the creation of social and economic value, in particular from intellectual property”

In the European Commission Green Paper 2010 cultural industries include, besides the traditional arts sectors (performing arts, visual arts, cultural heritage – including the public sector), film, DVD and video, television and radio, video games, new media, music, books and press.

(1) UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Creative Talent Factory (CTF) project is mainly focused on the following creative businesses:

  • Visual and performing arts
  • Craftsmanship
  • Art and antiques market
  • Fashion
  • Music and dancing

Key CCI employment statistics

  • In 2015, 8.4 million people worked in cultural and creative industries in European Community, that is 3.7% of total EU employment
  • In the large European cities 1 out of 7 jobs is in the CCI
  • In the EU more people work in creative industries than in automotive sector.
  • The biggest employers in CCI in Europe are visual art, performing arts and music industry, with about ½ of employees in CCI in 2012
  • The biggest turnover makers in the CCI sector in EU are: visual art, advertising and TV.
  • 2.45 million companies in EU belong to the creative industries.
  • European CCI sector is mainly composed of 95% of micro and small business. In average each business entity employs 2 – 3 persons.


1. How would you describe in your own words, the concept of creative industries?

2. In your opinion, why culture industries are important for communities and people?

3. How would a world without creative industries be?

Project Number: 2020-1-LT01-KA204-077959
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.