Since the 1980s, a lot has been said about the role of culture and the creative sectors (CCS), not only in the context of social development, but also in economic development. According to UNESCO the cultural and creative sectors account for millions of jobs in the world, increase the attractiveness of cities and generate millions of euros in income.

Here is some interesting data collected by UNESCO in the report “Cultural times, the first global map of cultural and creative industries”. Revenue from the cultural and creative industries brings 2.25 billion dollars a year and accounts for 3% of the world’s GDP. CCS generate 29.5 million jobs in the world which is more than the automotive industry in Europe, Japan and the United States together – predominantly in the visual arts, music and books. But what is of the greatest importance in this? That cultural production is young, inclusive and enterprising. In Europe, CCS employ more workers between the ages of 15 and 29 than any other sector, most as  small businesses and freelancers.

And what is a specially important in the context of transforming the consumption of culture is that these young people start to drive the digital economy. So artists are forced to rethink their work and develop their online potential. That’s why now it’s so important to promote copyright (“Creative industries need supportive legal frameworks that protect the rights of creators and secure fair remuneration for them, to boost economic growth and job creation worldwide”), improve online monetisation (“Policy makers need to rebalance the current transfer of value in the digital economy that favours online intermediaries in order to sustain the economy of cultural industries”) and cultivate talents (“Creative talent is the lifeblood of cultural and creative industries and should be protected and promoted. The creative community is an engine of innovation for more sustainable development”).

Each sector has its features and various professional categories, but a general picture shows that artists have to become more managers of themselves, work on their own image and their social networks. In Europe a special focus is on music (the European Union started the new funding program in the framework of Creative Europe  titled MUSIC MOVES EUROPE (MME). It is the overarching framework for the European Commission’s initiatives and actions in support of the European music sector). This also very important because the music sector is considered the testing place for digital transformation, but the biggest streaming services pay artists very little for reproduction of their music. And this is why now live music is the main source of income for musicians (in the past artists focused on selling their records).

The literature sector is also changing – we are reading more and more digital books , but what is particularly important now: self-publishing is transforming the market very quickly. Visual artists also have to change their methods how to reach and engage audiences. Galleries are now places just for a few, so artists try to use the personal web, social networks and participation in contests to sell their works.

Art has accompanied humans since prehistory. We can express our emotions through art. It make us the critical reflects, we can describe our world through art. Art is our universal language, and first of all – even if it’s not something “practical” – it just gives us pleasure and improves the quality of our lives.

How can we, artists, develop our skills so as to remain active in this changing world? How can we try to influence the copyright and intellectual property laws?

Anna Ochmann


“Cultural times, the first global map of cultural and creative industries” 

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