Before the Corona pandemic, the Austrian creative industries were a significant factor in the domestic economy with a share of around 11 percent (2018) in terms of the total number of companies and revenues of almost 24 billion euros. The largest sectors of the creative industries remain software, gaming and advertising, followed by performing arts, books and publishing, and architecture. Especially in recent years, the creative industries have been developing dynamically, employing about 163,000 people in some 45,500 companies. Despite being greatly affected by the pandemic, the creative industries are generating production, value added and employment far beyond their own sector in these challenging times. This is shown in the ninth Creative Industries Report, prepared by the Federal Ministry for Digitalisation and Economic Location (BMDW) and the Creative Industries Austria of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ).
Since the creative industries are an important service provider for the entertainment, culture and sports sectors affected by closures, but were also severely affected by lockdowns themselves, the Corona containment measures had a major impact on the entire sector. For example, production and value added in the performing arts fell by about 25 per cent, and employment by 15 per cent. Museums and the film and music industries were also severely affected by the Corona pandemic. "In order to protect businesses from lost sales and considerable liquidity problems, we put up the innovation protection umbrella and provided an additional 3.8 million euros in funding through the creative Impact Programme of the aws," says Margarete Schramböck, Federal Minister for Digitisation and Business Location.
There were winners in times of the pandemic, for example, in the software sector, where demand increased in times of crisis. Taking into account the direct, indirect and induced effects, the creative industries in Austria generated production of more than 35.3 billion euros, value added of more than 18 billion euros and employment of more than 218,000 full-time units in the Austrian economy even in the crisis year 2020. "The domestic creative industries have a strong leverage effect for the entire national economy. It is intensively intertwined with other sectors across the entire value chain. The creative industries can profit enormously from this in the coming years, as they are considered an essential driver of innovation in the digital transformation," says Amelie Groß, Vice President of the WKÖ.
Exploiting opportunities in the field of digitalisation - transformation workshops have an impact
The current situation is both an enormous challenge and opportunity for Austria's entrepreneurs. Because the future of the economy will be characterised by new approaches, fresh cross-sectoral projects and a high degree of creativity when it comes to internal and external processes, distribution channels and offers. "What is needed now are measures and instruments to drive the transformation forward and thus get the economic engine moving even more. With the new transformation workshops for the different sectors, we show where action is needed and the digital transformation is necessary for a modern and forward-looking company," says Groß. Because creatives create new products, new services, digital presences and products as well as adapted business models in interaction and exchange with entrepreneurs. The first workshops have already been successfully implemented for the travel agency, personal trainer, book trade, print shop, wedding planner, florist, ladies' and men's dressmaker and fashion trade sectors, among others. In the process, 70 creative experts from various disciplines worked on the individual economic challenges of around 200 entrepreneurs. The results were recorded in the transformation guides for each sector and subsequently benefited 23,000 entrepreneurs in the various sectors.
Creative industries will play a special role in the digital transformation by 2030
The digital transformation of businesses will be a decisive driver for their value creation and growth. According to the creative industries report, in order to prepare businesses in the best possible way and to be able to use the diverse opportunities of digitalisation, rules of the game for a fair digital economy and society are needed. There is also a need for better and easier access to data that drives creative industry innovations. In order to strengthen the know-how and thus the innovative spirit of the creative industries, the expansion of digital and digital economy skills in the sector must also be pushed. "The application of digital technologies to solve international sustainability goals also offers great potential. Here, the Austrian creative industries have already taken on a pioneering role. Nevertheless, it is important to open up new markets and additionally strengthen international cooperations," says Gerin Trautenberger, Chairman of the Creative Industries Austria (KAT) of the WKÖ.
Insights into the transformation workshops of the WKÖ: https://youtu.be/I1qW-DX2Axc
In the datastories, the most important findings are illustrated and available at a glance.