What is the situation of the creative industries in Estonia?

Estonia is the only country in Europe, where the current state of creative industries has already been mapped three times (2005, 2009, 2013, 2017) on the basis of statistical data from 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 respectively.

Table 1. Key characteristics of Estonian creative industries on the basis of four surveys

Year 2003 2007 2011 2015
Number of Employees 19 891 27 951 29 200 30 681
% Of employed 3.4% 4.3% 4.8% 4.8%
Number of Enterprises and Organisations 2 307 4 921 7 066 9 098
% Of enterprises 6.3% 9.4% 11.4% 11.6%
Total Income (€millions) 608 1 143 1 067 1481
% Of GDP 2.8% 2.9% 2.7% 2.8%

Creative industries’ support structures and companies were supported with EUR 193 million in 2015 (164 in 2011)  million). Thus, 13% of the total  revenue of the creative sector came mainly from the state, less from the local from municipalities and other sources (16% in 2011). The most important contributors to the creative sector are:
Ministry of Culture, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Enterprise Estonia, Gambling Tax Council, in the case of libraries also the Ministry of Education and Research.

The ratios of the creative industries enable companies in the sector to compare with the Estonian average company. The average  creativeenterprise / institution revenue in 2015 was 162.8 thousand euros (2011: 147.3 thousand euros). Creative industries are significantly less profitable than Estonia enterprises on average (according to Statistics Estonia, EUR 673.7 thousand per company in 2015).
Companies in different sectors of the creative industries have very different sizes and productivity. Entertainment software companies generated more revenue than the Estonian average (on average 2,089.6 thousand euros) per company) and broadcasting companies and agencies (average 1 871.4 thousand euros) company / institution). The smallest average – income enterprise / institution was craft enterprises and libraries.

Between 2011 and 2015, 2,175 companies / institutions were added to the creative industries sector and compared in previous periods, the growth rate of the number of new companies has slowed down. The number of businesses and institutions of creative industries has grown slightly faster in the last four years than in Estonian business as a whole – 31% in creative industries and 27% in Estonian business respectively.

In 2015, as in 2003, 2007 and 2011, the creative industries sector
about 3% of the Estonian economy.

In the next five years, Estonia ‘s economic development can be expected to continue (according to the economic forecast of the Estonian Economy Institute) average 3% per year). The share of cultural subsidies in the public sector is growing in line with budget growth.
In order to significantly increase the income of the creative people,  additional resources can come more from the free market and thus, the ability of creative industries to generate their own revenue must increase. It also has to increase the self-sufficiency of support structures. Where the trend of the last decade has been for many the emergence of small businesses, now would require the merger of companies, better  cooperation with other companies. Better cooperation between the creative industries is crucial for future success different industries.

Tourism in Estonia can be developed through additional cultural services for foreign tourists. One of the organic parts of industrial product development and innovation should  be product design.

Better promotion of Estonia in the world is definitely supporting export of Estonian products and services.  Museums, exhibitions, the IT and film sectors could do much closer cooperation with the education sector, etc.

Source:Estonian Institute of Economic Research, Survey of Creative Industries in Estonia