The House of Lords Communications and Digital Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the future of the UK’s creative industries.  While definitions of “creative industry” differ, it is considering the following areas: music, performing and visual arts; museums and galleries; publishing and gaming, film, TV, video, photography (along with digital design services which provide a core input into those areas).

The Committee says that there are major changes on the horizon for the UK’s creative industries. These are shaped by a range of national and global trends. The 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. 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 effects are likely to be particularly significant. Creative content production is likely to be affected by new technologies such as machine learning and AI. Audience engagement will increasingly make use of digital tools, while advances in immersive experiences such as augmented or virtual reality look set to offer new ways of developing and delivering cultural content, from performances to paintings. Some business models are likely to change as new forms of consumer engagement and content distribution emerge.

Inquiry questions

Which areas of the creative industries face the greatest potential for disruption and change in the next five to ten years, and what effect could this have? 

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?

What skills will be required to meet these emerging opportunities and challenges?

What actions are needed from the UK government and local authorities to ensure there is an appropriate talent pipeline equipped with these skills?  How can this be sufficiently flexible to take account of the pace of change in the sector?

What actions are needed from industry to support the talent pipeline development? 

What actions are needed from organisations in the creative industries to prepare for and accommodate the requirements of the future workforce?

What role do innovation and research & development play in addressing the future challenges facing the creative industries?  What actions are needed from the government, funding bodies and sector organisations to support innovation, and research & development?

How effective are the government’s existing strategies at supporting the creative industries to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead?

What lessons can the UK’s creative industries learn from other countries, and other sectors?

The Committee invites written contributions by 2 September.