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Creative Industries is now the second largest sector in the UK after finance.

It is also one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It is a key element of both the creative economy and the information society, offering an increasingly significant source of revenue, employment and cultural expression.

This sprawling sector, from film production to software development, represents 7.3% of GDP and employs around one million people. However, the sector faces major hurdles. The government has recently launched a strategy aimed at addressing intellectual property issues. The digital world is awash with piracy and laws are hard to reproduce in the digital world.

ANIMATION

In total, the global market for all forms of animation is currently estimated to be worth £30bn p.a. The UK has a significant position in this market, but the UK's animation industry faces a number of challenges and opportunities that will affect its various sub–sectors in different ways. Just over 2000 people work in animation in the UK, nearly half of them freelance, and there are currently more than 300 companies producing a range of work.

Animation in the country "is at a tipping point: it either survives or dies" is the view by many industry leaders going into 2012 and 2013. They forecast that within a matter of years, the UK will not be producing any such fantastic properties as a result of tax breaks and government incentives in other countries. They are calling on the Government to extend the Film Tax Credit to animation companies working on television programmes so that they have a "level playing field" with those in countries like Ireland, France and Canada.

GAMING

Console games will continue to lead the way in terms of sales, with an expected growth of 6.9 percent from $24.9 billion in 2007 to $34.7 billion into 2013. In the US alone, the report predicts an increase at a compound annual rate of 6.3 percent, with sales up to $11.7 billion in 2012 from $8.6 billion in 2007. Following suit, online games will also see massive growth. Online games, which generated $6.6 billion in 2007, will jump to $14.4 billion into 2013.

Despite comments from industry insiders who adamantly defend the PC market, the industry forecasts a decline in PC gaming through to 2012. The sector's sales are expected to drop from $3.8 billion last year to $3.6 billion into 2013. That 1.2 percent drop, though small, isn't great news for the PC market. This will likely come as a result of the general downturn in the number of quality PC game releases, with just a few big titles each year winning the hearts and wallets of PC gamers at large. One would expect that platforms like Steam and GameTap will continue to enjoy growth, however.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the recent influx in video game advertising ventures—most notably the acquisition of Massive by Microsoft and Sony's recent deal with IGA Worldwide—will lead to a 16.7 percent annual growth rate for in-game advertising, as profits are posited to rise from $1 billion in 2007 to $2.3 billion in 2012. It's likely that more companies will begin to take the plunge, too, as profits continue to soar. In-game advertising is here to stay, whether gamers like it or not.

Riding on the ever-increasing wave of success, the oft-ignored mobile gaming market will see the most substantial increases of all. With handheld devices at large hosting more and better games, predictions peg the mobile gaming sector to grow a staggering 19 percent, sales rising from $5.6 billion last year to $13.5 billion in 2012. Canada will apparently benefit the most from this boom following the introduction of more high speed network phones to the country, with a compound annual growth rate of 20.2 percent, bringing profits for the sector up to $346 million in by 2013 and onwards.

ARTS AND CRAFTS

With a global share of 26%, the UK has by far the largest arts, crafts and antiques market in Europe and is second in the world only to the USA.  The creative arts industry employs around 700,000 people UK wide and contributes 24.8billion to the UK economy each year.  Of the 29 million people employed in the UK in July 2009, 2.4% worked in the creative arts industry (National Statistics).  The largest area is design, which employs 29% of workers, followed by music, 15%, and crafts at 13%. (Creative and Cultural Skills, Impact and Footprint, 2008/9).

FASHION AND PHOTOGRAPHY

The government has predicted that levels of obesity in the UK will soar over the next few decades, driving demand for fashionable clothing in larger sizes. The plus-size (women 18+ and men XL+) market is growing strongly and is expected to outperform the rest of the mainstream clothing market over the next five years.

There are now more ways than ever to take pictures and record video, from standard digital cameras and camcorders, to compact cameras and pocket-sized video recorders such as the ‘Flip’. At the same time, camera functionality is now a norm with mobile phones, and is rapidly improving in quality. As the market for digital devices proliferates, the industry will have to assess how consumers evaluate new technology for taking video and pictures, what they look for in a new device and opportunities to fight back at the threat from converged devices like the mobile handset.

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