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The True Value of Creative Industries Digital Exports – MusicTank

The True Value of Creative Industries Digital Exports

14 Mar 2018

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The UK’s creative industries are at the forefront of trade in digital services. From the sale of a British-made video game, accessible on a mobile device, to an online advert aired in other countries, our creative digital exports are wide-ranging in their scope and global reach.

Currently, official figures may not fully capture the financial value of creative digital exports.  This has implications for making informed policy decisions and on how best to provide support in order to grow UK trade.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has estimated official export figures for the creative industries, based on data from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Creative industries:

  • Export £37bn in goods and services
  • Export £22bn in services
  • Export £15bn in digital services – almost two-thirds of total creative services exports.

However, these figures do not capture ‘hard to measure’ trade flows, such as content viewed though YouTube or accessed globally on online newspapers and publications.

This research, undertaken by Cebr and the Creative Industries Federation, sponsored by the Creative Industries Council (CIC) and supported by the Department for International Trade, aims to capture these trade flows to calculate the wider financial value of creative digital exports.

This report’s main findings are:

  • The UK’s creative industries export £46bn in goods and services – 24% higher than the official figure
  • £31bn of total creative exports are services – 41% higher than the official figure
  • £21bn of these creative services are digital services – 40% higher than the official figure
  • Creative digital services represents 68% of total creative services exports



Creative Industries Federation; Publ. 13 March 2018