The government’s commitment to promote the culture industries resulted in the creation of a new Directorate-General for Cultural Industries and Policy and the implementation, in December 2008, of the first Plan for the Promotion of Cultural Industries. In the 2018 edition, it still does not include a definition of “cultural / creative industries”, but it mentions the sectors to be included in the “cultural and creative industries”. Following the classification of the European Commission Green Paper: Unlocking the Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries, the Plan adds to the traditional sectors (film, visual arts, cultural heritage, performing arts, television, radio, music, books and newspapers) new sectors closely linked to innovation and creativity such as: design, fashion, architecture, advertising, new media, video games and interactive arts. For the period 2018-2020, the aims of the Plan, based on previous editions and strategies incorporated in the Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretariat for Culture, are the following:
- to promote incorporation of technology in the activity of cultural and creative sectors, as well as the transversal effects of cultural creativity and innovation in the general economy;
- to promote companies and entities of the third sector to increase their efficiency and profitability in the global market;
- to cooperate with institutions to promote collaboration, alliances and the establishment of networks;
- to improve business training and contribute to the professionalization of the sector;
- to create and consolidate occupation in all cultural and creative sectors;
- to increase social participation and public recognition of the sector;
- to promote respect for the authors’ rights and propose methodologies to estimate their value;
- to modernise and strengthen the functioning of the publishing sector editorial;
- to enrich the quality of the book offer; and
- to modernise bookshops and increase their cultural relevance.
In the particular context of small and medium enterprises (SME), the government, through the different plans for the promotion of cultural industries, has recognised SMEs as the core of the Spanish cultural and creative industry, and addressed one of the main problems faced by these companies: the financing of cultural and creative projects. To do this, the government has implemented a system of capital grants, and access to credit together with the Sociedad de Garantía Recíproca Audiovisual [Mutual Guarantee Society]. This is meant to promote the modernisation, innovation and technological adaptation of cultural companies and to increase the legal supply of cultural content on the Internet. In January 2017, an agreement between the European Investment Fund and CERSA (Spanish re-guarantee company) was signed to facilitate the access to funding of cultural industries.
Other measures implemented by the Ministry Culture and Sport are the following (for more details see here):
- action and cultural promotion, which are primarily related to foundations and associations;
- HISPANEX Scholarships addressed to finance university research projects in the field of Hispanic studies with America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Mediterranean;
- IBEREX Scholarships for training cultural professionals from Iberoamerica;
- FormArte Scholarships for training and specialisation in activities and subjects within the competence of cultural institutions under the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport; and
- CULTUREX Scholarships for training and specialisation in cultural management in cultural institutions abroad.
According to the Cultural Statistics Yearbook 2018, published by the Ministry of Culture and Sport, which includes data from the Satellite Account on Culture in Spain for the period 2010-2016, the cultural industries sector represented almost 2.5% of GDP in 2016 (and 3.3% if one takes into account all activities related to intellectual property). This generated spill over effects in many other sectors of the Spanish economy, particularly in the field of information technologies, communication, innovation and tourism. The latest (provisional) data show that the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the Spanish culture industries in 2016 was 26 269 million EUR (and 34 491 million EUR if one takes into account all activities related to intellectual property). The most important sectors are publishing (8 494 million EUR) and audiovisual / multimedia (7 425 million EUR). The number of companies, whose main economic activity was defined as cultural, reached 118 407 in 2017, approximately 3.6% of all those recorded in the Central Companies Directory, published by the National Statistics Institute. In comparison to 2008, the number of cultural companies has increased with 6.1%.
Regarding employees within the cultural industry, 93.3% of cultural enterprises had between 0 and 5 employees in 2017, while 6% had between 6 and 49 employees and the remaining 0.7% had 50 or more. Data from the Labour Force Survey, published by the National Statistics Institute, shows that the number of employed people in the cultural field in 2017 was approximately 687 200, around 3.7% of total employment. The data on foreign trade in cultural goods show that the total value of exports of cultural goods stood at 1 932.9 million EUR in 2017, compared to imports of 2 319.5 million EUR, obtaining a trade deficit of 386.6 million. The strongest foreign trade is observed, as in other years, in books and press, with exports valued at 610 million EUR and a trade surplus of 244 million.
From a global perspective, there are four main challenges to be overcome by the culture industries in Spain:
- find a balance between the financial viability of the culture industries while, at the same time, adhering to rules preventing economic or cultural monopolies, particularly in the field of multimedia;
- reaffirm the independence of the culture industries, such as book publishing, film and the audiovisual arts in general;
- revise the approach to subsidising the culture industries (e.g. through grants, cheap loans, tax relief) to focus more on the creative side of the operation and improve the access to credit markets of small and medium firms; and
- persuade people to recognize that culture industries are a source of future economic growth as well as a mean of access to culture. Two possibilities for achieving this objective would be to foster “multimedia clusters” and to establish the application of new technologies to culture as one of the poles of regional development.
From a European comparative perspective, Eurostat data shows that the percentage of employed people in the cultural field in 2017 was 3.6%. The data on foreign trade in cultural goods show that, in 2016, exports and imports reached 0.63% and 0.59% of total exports and imports respectively. Regarding the contribution of the different Spanish cultural industries to the value added of total services in 2015, the most important are programming and broadcasting activities (0.41%), motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities (0.35%), followed by architectural activities (0.22%) and specialised design activities (0.16%).