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Situational review of the Finnish creative industries has been published – New research methodology reveals a billion-euro turnover

jazz band palying music

According to a review prepared by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland the creative industries generated a turnover of around EUR 14 billion last year. This was formed largely by networks of more than 130,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs. Thanks to new research methodology that takes advantage of theAI, researchers were able to identify more accurately the creative industries and their growth opportunities.

Creative skills are recognised as an important source of sustainable growth across a wide range of industries. As a result, the importance of promoting creative skills and creative industries has been recognised in both public and private sectors. However, creative industries do not have a universal definition, and therefore a systematic, knowledge-based development has been difficult.

To gain better clarity, Business Finland commissioned VTT to produce a Review of business in the creative and event industries (Tilannekuva luovien alojen ja tapahtuma-alan liiketoiminnasta). The review outlines the structure of business ecosystems and interdependency of contributors within value networks. The turnover of the creative industries in2022 was around EUR 14 billion, including the event sector of around EUR 2.6billion. The two other largest sectors were the EUR 3.6 billion games sector and the closely related EUR 1.6 billion audiovisual sector. 

Last year, there were more than 130,000 enterprises in the creative industries, most run by self-employed entrepreneurs. The vast majority of entrepreneurs and company employees worked part-time or on a freelance basis, which the survey revealed in more detail than before.

"Traditionally, the activities of the creative industries have been examined through business classifications. This time, we also scoured their websites for keywords that describe their activities using the new ChatGPT tool. This allowed us to detect links between industries of the creative economy and to identify companies whose declared category of industry does not fully correspond to their activities," says Mika Naumanen,a Senior Scientist at VTT. 

Tools for growth – Highlighting value chains,ecosystems and change trends

According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the recently published report enables the development of a data-driven creative economy. For example, turnover and employment can be considered more broadly rather than solely within individual industries. 

"The key perspective offered by the review is the ability to look at whole value chains and ecosystems, not just at the core activity of creative work. It's important for business to identify the entities in which growth and internationalisation take place", says Petra Tarjanne, MinisterialAdviser at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. 

Among other things, the study highlighted the link between the creative economy and the events industry and the tourism industry, as well as new technology platforms. It also identified the changing trends affecting future business in creative industries. These include artificial intelligence, platform-based business, multi-channel business and sustainability thinking.

The review identifies scalable content, such as audiovisual, music and games, as key creative industries for growth. In these industries, business ecosystems operate globally, and digital platform owners have a strong position as the custodians of customer data.

New business opportunities are opening up by combining scalable content such as games, music and metaverse technologies that combine the virtual and real worlds. In order to take advantage of new business opportunities, it is necessary to support cooperation between companies and other actors. 

Events industry grows by 15 percent

The review was conducted in 2022, when the events industry had already recovered from the pandemic years and had grown by 15%since 2017. The review estimates that the Finnish events industry has potential to position itself as a leading organiser of major international events.


Read the full review: Tilannekuva luovienalojen ja tapahtuma-alan liiketoiminnasta  (in Finnish, Executive summary in English)

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