Cultural and creative industries fuel global economy and provide 29.5 million jobs worldwide

Paris, 3 December 2015 – With revenues of US$2,250 billion, Cultural and Creative Industries account for 3% of world GDP and employ 29.5 million people (1% of the world’s active population).

CISAC 90 years logo

Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) revenues exceed those of telecom services and employ more people than the car industry of Europe, Japan and the USA combined (29.5 million vs. 25 million). This major contribution of CCI to the global economy is explained in a new study, jointly presented by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, France, and published by EY (formerly Ernst & Young).

The study concludes that, to unlock the full potential of CCI, creators must be fairly remunerated for the use of their creative works, so that they can continue contributing to culture and the economy. In particular in the digital market, policy makers need to address the transfer of value currently taking place in favour of Internet intermediaries, and ensure that creators and the creative industries are paid fairly for the exploitation of their works.


Cultural and creative industries are major drivers of the economies of developed as well as developing countries. Indeed, they are among the most rapidly growing sectors worldwide. It influences income generation, job creation, and export earnings. It can forge a better future for many countries around the globe.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova declared

Creative works are a key driver of the digital economy.

In 2013, creative content contributed US$200b to global digital sales, powering sales of digital devices and increasing demand for high-bandwidth telecom services. Sales of digital cultural goods generated US$65 billion and US$21.7 billion of advertising revenues for online media and free streaming websites.

The study

The study provides unique data, mapping out a colourful canvas of a multipolar creative world. It reflects the diversity that UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions stands for, and enhances UNESCO’s global effort for “more data and stronger indicators on the role of Culture for the development of societies”.


This unique and first global study of cultural and creative industries shows that creators around the world, in all artistic sectors, are a major contributor to the world economy, both in terms of revenues and jobs. They need to be able to work in an environment that protects their moral and economic rights, so that they can sustain their creative activity. We hope this study will be an eye opener for policy makers worldwide: protecting creators means fostering the economy. Our creative industries help build sustainable economies, provide local jobs, generate revenues and taxes and enable millions of people, many of them young, to make a living from their talent

CISAC President and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Jean-Michel Jarre

Cultural and Creative Industries at a Glance

The comprehensive study by EY « Cultural Times – the First Global Map of Cultural and Creative Industries » analyses 11 sectors* of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) across Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. In each region, CCI have their own strengths.

Asia-Pacific: 34 % of global CCI Revenues. 40 % of jobs with the largest consumer base and a fast rising middleclass. Leader in Gaming. Growing fast in Movies and Books.

Europe: 32 % of global CCI Revenues. 25 % of jobs cultural economy is rooted in history, underpinned by strong public support, a highly educated population and a strong concentration of creators.

North America: 28 % of global CCI Revenues. 15 % of jobs. Strong international influence and leader Movies, TV, and Performing Arts.

Latin America: 6% of global CCI Revenues. 16% of jobs TV is King. Latin American TV shows travel worldwide, as well as music and dance.

Africa and Middle East: 3 % of global CCI Revenues. 8 % of jobs. Opportunities in Film production. TV, and Music. Informal economy for example unofficial music performances is a significant part of the cultural scene, and a reservoir of jobs.

* Advertising, architecture, books, gaming, music, movie, newspapers and magazines, performing arts, radio, TV, visual arts.


Media Contact

Cécile ROY – CISAC Director of Communications | +33 1 55 62 08 50  

Joanna Kirk – International press contact | +33 6 61 85 56 33

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

switching account

Switching your account...