The cultural and creative industries: a new economic Eldorado and a source of employment?

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In this new series of articles launched by the INSEEC Paris MSc & MBA programs, we give the floor to the pedagogical directors of our programs to discuss topics of interest or current events in our fields of expertise. For this first essay, Fabien Fournillon, Director of Communication, Digital & Marketing, takes up the pen in this article devoted to the economic and professional importance of an often “underestimated” sector: the cultural and creative industries. It is difficult to imagine our life today without entertainment and even less without culture, and the current context of Covid-19 proves it even more in this period of confinement where outdoor activities are almost proscribed. Professionals in these industries still have a lot of cards to play to develop and reinvent the art and culture of yesterday, today and tomorrow, and training in this field must adapt to this perpetual change. 

Finding your way in the culture and cultural industries sector

We would be wrong to neglect this industry, as France has real expertise in engineering and cultural offerings in the broadest sense of the term. But what exactly do we mean by creative and cultural industries?

An economic sector in its own right, the creative cultural industries include media activities (radio, television, press, communication and advertising agencies), books, music, video games, visual arts, performing arts, the heritage world including museums, not forgetting the audiovisual sector (flow and stock).

With a weight of nearly 90 billion euros, they represent a significant source of value creation for our economy, since they alone weigh twice as much as our automobile industry alone.

No less than 1.3 million people earn income from this industry as employees or self-employed! The share of the latter in our trade balance has been growing steadily and at a faster pace than for other industries.

As well as being a great economic showcase for the outside world, the cultural and creative industries are also an essential lever for “soft power” and induced wealth. Indeed, we can only note the undeniable link between the good health of these industries and the vitality of the tourism sector. Need we remind you again that 89.4 million foreign tourists visited France in 2018! In 2018, no less than 52 million tourists had a cultural experience during their stays.

When France gives birth to national flagships

  • The Louvre, the world’s leading museum with 10 million visitors, far ahead of the Metropolitan Museum or the Vatican Museum…
  • Ubisoft and Gameloft, two global players in the video game industry…
  • More than 107 festivals that welcome more than 15,000 visitors in France for a total of 7 million festival-goers…

Leading cultural events of worldwide dimension such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Cannes Film Market (first feature film market in the world), the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival (first short film festival in the world), the Avignon Festival (major event for contemporary performing arts), the Angoulême Festival (for comics), the Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles, etc.

  • National champions in music and audiovisual content distribution with Deezer and Dailymotion
  • 120 animation studios with world-renowned expertise (Mac Guff, Xilam, etc.)
  • French audiovisual majors such as Pathé, Gaumont or MK2
  • Industrial heavyweights in the audiovisual field such as Technicolor or Ymagis

This list is of course not exhaustive, but France can be proud to possess nuggets that are the envy of the whole world! This very rich ecosystem now includes public players such as the state and local authorities, private sector companies of all sizes, not to mention the associative fabric that is essential to the success of this sector.

Entrepreneurship, the real driving force behind the cultural and creative industries

If we can describe this industry as dynamic today, it is also because it is experiencing unprecedented growth in terms of business creation. That’s almost 60,000 new businesses that were started in 2018! Admittedly, these are small structures for the time being, but one cannot help but believe that this craze reflects a paradigm shift that would consist in thinking that this industry would only live from public action! Moreover, let’s rejoice in the fact that the viability of “start-ups” from the cultural and creative industries remains at the top of the list, just after those from the health and social action sector or education.

Even if France remains in 3rd position in terms of start-ups related to the creative cultural industries after the UK or Germany, no less than 208 new companies were created in France in 2018! If these start-ups are so successful, it is because they have been able to combine artistic creation, entertainment and the potential offered by new digital technologies, in particular blockchain, the Internet of Things (connected objects), artificial intelligence and data exploitation.

Focus on new professions and new skills required by the cultural and creative industries

In the past, it was possible to build a career in this sector with a generalist higher education, but this is less true today, especially if you want to reach management positions in the long term. You must have a strong interest in the world of culture in the broadest sense. However, it is clear that this is no longer enough!

Today, the cultural and creative industries offer a wide range of new professions and perspectives to young professionals who would like to combine their passion for this industry with professional skills. Whether one wishes to work in a public or private structure, the observation remains the same. Indeed, new needs have emerged, which means in substance that new skills are now sought by the various players in this sector. As public funds are becoming increasingly scarce, we are looking for professionals able to develop sponsorship and partnership activities. Directly inspired by other industries, the economic actors have an imperative duty to develop their sources of financing.

We are looking for sales representatives for space rental, the implementation of strategies at the store level and ticketing specialists. The industry is looking for marketing and communication skills with real digital expertise.

Our training courses in culture

We have understood these new needs by offering a complete range of courses that meet the requirements of the economic players in this field of excellence with the MSc1 Cultural Communication & Media, the MSc2 Art Business & Cultural Communication and the MSc2 Management of Audiovisual Content & New Media.

With our strong ties to professionals, we have deliberately chosen to train young professionals in “high tension” jobs. We focus on three major areas to enhance the skills of the students who join these programs: digital and web, innovation, and marketing and sales expertise.

These training courses now make it possible to build a viable professional project. However, it can never be said enough, if the acquisition of specific skills is a necessity today, this field conceals opportunities for those who can also actively develop their professional network.

However, it can never be said enough, if the acquisition of specific skills is a necessity today, this field conceals opportunities for those who can also actively develop their professional network.

Fabien Fournillon
Pedagogical Director of the Communication, Marketing & Digital divisions of INSEEC MSc & MBA Paris

To go further: 3rd panorama of cultural and creative industries in France on EY
Next information meeting dedicated to our culture and tourism trainings on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in videoconference: to register, it’s here.”

Updated 24 February 2022