The report (pdf link here) was funded by the ESRC and written by Aim Research. Their conclusion on the impact of digital technologies on the future of the UK’s creative industries could be paraphrased as “Whoah – this is all a bit confusing. Can we do some more research please?” (see also Dave Harte) or in their words:
1 Firstly, research is still needed on creative practices and skills requirements for the creative industries. We have as yet a rudimentary understanding of how creative products and services are designed, produced and delivered in the light of new technologies, organisational practices and user expectations. The development of the necessary technical and managerial skills is an important area for research.
2 Secondly, the creation of products and services by users themselves is increasingly important, yet we lack both intellectual and practical frameworks for understanding the impact of user centric innovation on existing business models and how it should be managed in its own development. This will require cross-disciplinary skills and knowledge in managerial, technical, policy and legal domains. An important factor is the changing nature of Intellectual Property systems, given the brittle texture of existing structures in the new era of mash-ups, modding and mass downloading.
3 Thirdly, the new international markets and how the UK should engage with them: for example, the question of outsourcing of creative services and the related issues of country specialisation. Should we worry about the relative weaknesses we have in the UK e.g. online video games, or big budget films? Should we direct resources to those weaknesses or instead focus on our relative strengths and feel confident in
outsourcing what is peripheral? Research is needed in business and academe on how these important decisions are made, and should be made by managers.
4 Finally, a fourth area that will benefit the creative industries and stimulate scholarly insight is the linking between creative industries, in terms of mobility of people, the cross-pollination of ideas, the unrealised opportunities for cross-marketing and technological convergence, and the application of skills and tools in new domains for which they were not originally intended. Considered by many to be the basis for creativity, opportunities for spillovers across sector are too little understood, searched for, and exploited, yet hold significant potential for continued, and greater success.
I don’t want to be to rude here but couldn’t they come up with something more positive than a whole bunch of questions we already know exist?