In Austria, the sector of the creative industries includes ten subsectors: architecture, books and publishing, design, video and film, performing arts, music, radio and television, software and games, advertising, libraries and museums. It corresponds to all commercial enterprises that create, produce and distribute creative and cultural goods as well as services. As mentioned in chapter 3.3 and 3.4, the performing and visual arts sectors / branches overlap with the sub-sectors listed here to some extent, but in the context of the creative industries the focus is only on commercially oriented companies.
Since 2003, eight reports on Creative Industries have appeared at national level and they provide a detailed mapping and monitoring of the sector. Regional studies on the cities of Vienna, Linz and Graz et al., and for the provinces of Burgenland, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria, Vorarlberg and Tyrol are also available.
According to the eighth Austrian Creative Industries Report, in 2016 around 42 300 companies and some 153 000 self-employed and employed people were part of the creative industries. These are almost 11% of the companies in the Austrian economy and almost 5% of the total workforce. In 2016, the creative industry generated sales of around EUR 22 bn and a gross value added to factor costs of just under EUR 9.1 bn and is thus responsible for around 3% of revenues and around 4% of the value added of the Austrian economy as a whole. Creative companies were developing positively both in the short term (2015 to 2016) and in the long term (2008 to 2016). The following table gives an overview of the sector and the individual subsectors and their current economic indicators:
|Enterprises||Persons employed||Turnover in m. EUR||Value added in m. EUR|
|Books & publishing||3,895||22,910||3,852||1,220|
|Market for performing arts||8,041||22,764||2,556||1,385|
|Radio & TV||85||1,572||411||145|
|Software & games||7,553||41,186||6,739||3,363|
|Creative industries total||42,284||153,001||22,006||9,082|
Source: Eighth Austrian Creative Industries Report 2018, p. 34
Austria’s creative industries rank 10th in the European Union and are therefore of above-average importance compared to the size of the country (Bertschek et al. 2018). The Austrian creative industries show a high degree of internationalisation with an export rate of 19.4% compared to the 12.5% average export rate of the Austrian’s service industries.
In 2016, the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy (now the Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs) published the Kreativwirtschaftsstrategie Österreich. This strategy aims to strengthen the Austrian innovation system, the competitiveness of the creative industries, the transformative effect of the creative industries on other sectors and Austria’s international reputation as a creative culture and innovation country by 2025.
The strategy builds on the strengths of Austria’s creative industries, which relate to companies and organisations in the fields, but also to the good support and promotion structures at regional and federal level, which have been steadily built up over the past fifteen years. In order to implement this strategy, the services of two long-standing partners are used: the Austrian business development bank Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS) (with its programme AWS Kreativwirtschaft) and Kreativwirtschaft Austria (KAT) (a working group of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce).
AWS Kreativwirtschaft focuses on monetary support in the form of a grant for innovative projects in the context of the creative industries as well as basic and advanced training programmes for the creative sector, e.g. AWS Impulse (funding and training for entrepreneurs). The working group Kreativwirtschaft Austria (KAT) in the Austrian Chamber of Labour has its remit as the interests of the Austrian creative industries, both at a national, European and international level. It is committed to developing the creative industries in Austria and creating linkages with other sectors. The activities encompass skills development to support the economic success of creative people through tangible services and networking of companies and intermediaries, representation of interests of the creative industries and information and awareness as a knowledge hub, commissioning studies into – and increasing – the visibility of the achievements of the creative sector. KAT publishes the Austrian Creative Industries Report every two years. Furthermore, a Kreativwirtschaftsbeirat (committee for the creative industries) was nominated by the minister for Digital and Economic Affairs in 2019 to accompany the ministry during the implementation of the strategy through monitoring activities and the formulation of recommendations.
Since 2004, there has also been an international offensive for the creative industries, which was launched by Außenwirtschaft Österreich (AWO; Foreign Trade Austria) and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ). Since then, with almost 100 co-funded international projects, more than 1 800 Austrian companies from the fields of design, architecture, music, fashion, art, multimedia and film have been advised and supported in 20 different countries on five continents.
Important initiatives for the creative industries have also been taken at the level of the federal provinces and the cities. Since 2003, departure – The Creative Agency of the City of Vienna, founded by the Vienna City Council, acted as an economic support and service office for creative industry enterprises in Vienna, integrated in the Vienna Business Agency. It supports projects mainly in the fields of fashion, music, multimedia, design, publishing, the arts market and architecture. Departure continues to serve as an information, service and networking centre for the creative industries in Vienna.
Further initiatives by the provinces to support the creative industries include the Burgenland Centre for the Creative Industries, Creative Industries Styria (CIS), the Upper Austria Creative Region, Upper Austria Creative Industries, Create Location Agency Tirol, Hafen 11 Creative Industries in Klagenfurt, and Design Austria. These initiatives aim to further develop the creative industries in the respective region and network with industry, trade and the service sector.
Many areas of artistic and cultural creation overlap with creative industry sectors, such as the film industry, publishing, sound recording production, fashion labels or parts of the visual arts (galleries) and performing arts (theatres). In this respect, the support provided in the arts and cultural field mentioned above in chapters 3.3 Performing Arts and 3.4 Visual Arts and Crafts also indirectly contributes to the development of the creative industries and vice-versa.