Finnish Broadcasting Company to be funded by a new tax from 2013, paid by citizens and businesses, based on income levels.
New plans to promote the culture industries in the regions and municipalities 2010-2020.
New Finnish Centre for Media Education and Audiovisual Media started operating in 2012.
A new programme promotes more widespread use of design in developing the economy and public services.
4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes
The "culture industries" have not, until recently, been a central concept in Finnish cultural policies, which have, by and large, focused on the arts, heritage issues, cultural services, cultural participation and access to culture. This is reflected in the financing figures: only the press, radio- and television, film production and distribution and, to a minor extent, also book publishing, have special outlays in the state budget and their appropriations are close to nil in the municipal / city budgets. Architecture and design have been subsidised as artforms, and the performing arts are considered a part of cultural services and not as branches of the culture (or creative) industries. As the professional and basic arts education are not within the jurisdiction of cultural policy decision-making but are considered part of overall educational policies, the labour market issues of culture industries have neither been dealt with in art policies and cultural policies in any other sense as artist's social welfare security.
Since the 1970s, there have been studies defining culture industries in terms of given industrial branches; in the most recent studies the culture industries have been defined as industrial sub-sectors of copyright industries. As the line is drawn between culture industries and the "rest" of the copyright industries, the latter contain computer software, information systems, advertising and mass media (the press and traditional audio-visual media, i.e. radio and television), and the culture industries, which are:
In this classification, artistic work and heritage are seen as basic "primary industries" for production and distribution activities and consequently cultural policies pertain only to those sub-sectors of the media and cultural production which distinctly base their value-adding processes to artistic work and heritage. This distinction is not, however, taken universally as the basis in defining either culture industries or the domains of cultural policies.
The 2006 report drafting the national creativity strategy took overall creativity (i.e. in education and working life) as its starting point and, in respect to culture industries, prefers the British concept of creative industries to that of the above narrower concept. However the narrower concept seems to be the starting point in the recent efforts of the Ministry to start to promote cultural exports and the creative economy. This report was followed by the development programme for cultural exports 2007-2011. The creative economy has also a significant part in the Ministry's 2020 Strategy, where entrepreneurship and exports in the arts and culture are strongly emphasised.
In the development programme of the Ministry of Education and Culture for the years 2007-2013, within the framework of the EU Structural Funds, the approach is even more entrepreneurial, that is, focussed on the economy, management, education and internationalisation in the creative economy. In October 2012 the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, published a report, prepared by a joint working group appointed by both ministries, assessing the increasing significance of creative skills for the renewal of economic structures and growth. The report maps out public sector operators and services and proposes measures and development guidelines for the government term ending 2015 and, to some extent, for the European Union 2014–2020 structural fund programming. The strategic guidelines of the group pertain to development for the business environment - on intellectual property rights; development of skills; entrepreneurship and the development of the business sector; control of business development services and interaction with the creative economy sector and the development of knowledge base.
In the report, it is estimated that in 2010 the Finnish creative sector comprised of nearly 20 000 businesses.
Internationalisation of Finnish culture industries has accelerated in the 2000s. This has happened both in terms of Finnish acquisitions of foreign media companies and the acquisition of Finnish media companies by foreign companies (publishing houses in particular). This development has involved competition between the major media companies of the Nordic countries, where one of their objectives has been expansion in the Baltic Sea Region. In 2001, the Finnish "media giant", SanomaWSOY, bought VNU, a Dutch journal publisher, and this and acquisitions in the Baltic countries boosted its turnover close to EUR three billion. In another major deal the other two Nordic media giants, Norwegian Schibsted and Swedish Bonnier competed in 2005 for ownership of the second largest Finnish media conglomerate, Alma Media and especially for its television activities. Bonnier won and gained (together with Proventus Industrier AB) the control of Alma Media's commercial television channel. More recently (in 2011) Bonnier bought WSOY Finland's leading publisher of general literature from Sanoma Oy. In the same transaction Sanoma Oy, which is giving up its general literature publishing, bought two Bonnier's publishing firms of educational books. These deals reflect how the "media giants" of the Nordic countries are focusing on key strategic areas in their respective businesses. Despite these deals, the Finnish culture industries have maintained a high level of domestic content (see chapter 4.2.6).
In recent years, the main issue in the financing of culture industries has been the promotion of exports, or, in more general terms, invigorating entrepreneurship in creative industries (see chapter 3.3 and chapter 8.1). From a longer time perspective, the two main topics of national debate in respect to the promotion of culture industries (or should one say creative industries) have been the financing of the audiovisual sector, more specifically the activities of the public broadcasting company YLE, and domestic film production. State subsidy for film production has increased substantially.
The Finnish Broadcasting Company (FBC / YLE) has been, until now, financed mainly by licence fees paid by households, but its financial problems have accumulated as another important source, the public service compensation fee paid by the commercial TV-companies, was first halved and then abolished in 2007. The debates about financing and about the limits of FBC's "public service function" started again in 2010 and have resulted finally in a parliament decision, in 2012, to renew the financing and governance structure of the FBC. From the beginning of 2013, the FBC will be financed by a so-called FBC tax, collected from individual Finnish citizens and businesses. The state, municipalities and the church are exempt from the tax. FBC tax will be collected from citizens according to income, with the smallest amount of tax being 50 EUR and the largest 140 EUR. Businesses are taxed according to profits made.
The debates on film production have also focussed mainly on money: the need for increased public support for national film production. In recent years the film industry has been in an improved negotiation position because Finnish films have found increasing popularity among domestic audiences (in 2010 the share of audiences for domestic films was 27%) and gained (especially through the success of Aki Kaurismäki's "art films" and Finnish documentaries and short films) increasing international visibility. The goal has been set to reach the same level of public funding as the other Nordic countries have already reached. In the state budgets of 2008, 2009 and 2010 the outlay for film production was substantially increased and, as film production also received its share of special employment funds, the objective of increasing financing to EUR 28 million (EUR 27.4 million) was reached in the 2011 budget. The problem for the sector is the fact that the other Nordic countries have meanwhile also strongly increased their investments in film production.
The problem has also been how to co-ordinate the financing support that is unevenly coming from different sources. The main financier of Finnish feature film production has been the state via the Finnish Film Foundation, but other financiers have been broadcasting companies, (increasingly only the public one, i.e. the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE) and AVEK (The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture). AVEK is maintained by Kopiosto, the copyright organisation. Financing can be based on bi-lateral or trilateral agreements between these three parties. There are no longer formal contractual partnership agreements between them. The Nordic Film and Television Fund, Eurimages and the EU Media Plus programme also provide highly important funding and encourage public-private partnerships.
In January 2012, the Finnish Centre for Media Education and Audiovisual Media (MEKU) started operating as a Ministry of Education and Culture subordinate authority to maintain and develop an online classification system for audiovisual programmes and to promote media education. MEKU was established to take over the activities of the Finnish Board of Film Classification, which closed in 2011, by new legislation (Act on Audiovisual Programmes, 710/2011 and the Act on the Finnish Centre for Media Education and Audiovisual Programmes, 711/2011; see also chapter 5.3) that came into effect on 1 January 2012. These Acts cover and repeal the former acts on age classification of programmes for the protection of children against exhibition of pornography and violence. The merging of MEKU with the National Audiovisual Archive (KAVA) was underway in 2012.
Most of the Finnish regions and major cities have produced strategic papers on creative industries and the Ministry produced a report – Regional development work in Creative Economy and Culture 2010-2020- to enhance the development in the regions. http://www.minedu.fi/export/sites/default/OPM/Julkaisut/2010/liitteet/OKMtr13.pdf?lang=fi
Helsinki, together with surrounding cities of Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti, hosted the World Design Capital in 2012. The WDC year included events and exhibitions across the capital region. The themes of the year, with ideas submitted by designers and the general public, were architecture, urban planning, interior design, sustainable design, industrial design and communication design. The budget for the year is more than EUR 16 million, financed by the five cities, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and the Ministry of Education and Culture (support amounting together to EUR 5 million), corporate partners and other sources. The total economic scope of the Design Capital is estimated to exceed EUR 100 million (http://wdchelsinki2012.fi).
The WDC project also gathered information and experiences for a new national design programme, prepared in 2012 by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Culture. The programme, named "Design Finland", is being developed with an open approach, with the help of social media and open workshops. The aims of the programme are to promote more widespread use of design in developing the economy and public services. The programme will be published by the end of 2012.