Sustainability of the Creative Industries   

The cultural and creative sector is a growing economic sector based on intellectual property – it is created, valued, used and sold, and through it creates new value for other sectors. Digital platforms and the internet have radically changed the traditional value chains of the creative industries, and the pandemic conditions of recent years have amplified and accelerated these changes. 

The Estonian creative industry sector has been mapped every four years since 2005. According to the most recent study completed in 2018, the Estonian creative industries sector accounted for almost 5% of the working population and more than 10% of the total number of enterprises, which together generated nearly as much income as agriculture and forestry. 

At the same time, it is a sector heavily dependent on public funding, as illustrated by the significant drop in activity indicators during the economic crisis in all creative sectors mapped by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research. While the creative sectors have been relatively successful in attracting private funding and have managed to increase their share of their own revenues in the long term, the Estonian language and culture space remains a limited market for offered services. A study commissioned by the EAS in 2017 on the export of creative industries in four creative sectors found that their export capacity is weak, and they focus on a few segments of the value chain. In these circumstances, smart and strategic targeting and planning of state and local government investment is key to ensuring the viability and sustainability of the sector as a whole. 

For the sustainability of Estonia’s creative industries over the next decade, it is crucial to have a creative sector that is well managed and coordinated, well-funded, well developed and the audience culturally aware. The study analysed sustainability factors and development scenarios in seven areas: architecture, design, performing arts, film, literature, art, music and sound.