UK soft power exports worth £21bn, £6bn more than official stats

New research published today shows that the value of the UK’s creative digital exports, from video games to the BBC’s Blue Planet - our so-called soft power - is £6bn higher than official figures, at £21bn a year.

The research by the Creative Industries Federation and Cebr – sponsored by the Creative Industries Council (CIC) - and supported by the Department of International Trade, also shows that soft power exports in goods and services are £10bn higher than estimated official figures at £46bn, that £31bn of total creative exports are services, higher by £9bn, and digital creative service exports are 40% greater at £21bn 

 “This report demonstrates that all sectors of the UK’s creative industries are using the opportunities that digital technology provides to increase their sales, innovate and reach new audiences who are hungry for UK products and services” said Nicola Mendelsohn, chair of the CIC.

Previous estimates have not been able to capture the full extent of the UK’s digital trade, including musical artists earning from global YouTube views of their music, and designers and developers reaping the rewards of online game downloads, says the report.

Alina Dimofte, public policy and government relations manager of Google, said: “Online, anyone from the BBC to street buskers like Hannah Trigwell who got a No1 hit in Vietnam from her Leeds studio, can connect to new audiences across the world.

“On YouTube, the UK is already one of the biggest content exporters with 78% of all views on videos uploaded in the UK being watched by users in a different country. Similarly, game developers or createch entrepreneurs have their apps available for the whole world by just publishing them on an app store.”

And while the scale may be international, said the Fed’s CEO John Kampfner, the impact is local with creative jobs growing in Yorkshire and West Midlands last year by 25% and regional economies growing faster than in London.


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