Media and creative industries


Our creative industries are a real success story. They are worth more than £36 billion a year; they generate £70,000 every minute for the UK economy; and they employ 1.5 million people in the UK. According to industry figures, the creative industries account for around £1 in every £10 of the UK’s exports. With the right support, they have the potential to bring even more benefits to our culture and economy.

We support these industries through financial incentives, promotion at home and abroad, and reducing unnecessary regulations.

We are very proud of the UK’s media industry: it is a powerful symbol of an open and free society, as well as an important part of the economy. At the same time, we want to make sure that appropriate regulations are in place so that everyone’s rights are protected, and so that we have a plurality (or mix) of owners in the media industry.


We are helping the media and creative industries, while protecting the interests of citizens, by:


The Digital Economy Act 2010 was introduced to provide a regulatory framework which could support emerging and future digital media services in the UK.

The Leveson Inquiry was set up in July 2011 to investigate the culture, practices and ethics of the press, following the exposure of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Lord Leveson reported in November 2012. [link to report]

In May 2011 Professor Ian Hargreaves published a ‘Digital opportunity: a review of intellectual property and growth. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is implementing the review’s recommendations.


The Communications Act 2003 is the primary means by which the digital industries in the UK are regulated. It set up Ofcom’s full powers.

The Digital Economy Act 2010 regulates digital media in the UK and covers local television provision, video game ratings, the powers of regulator Ofcom, how internet domain names are registered in the UK, and measures to protect intellectual copyright from illegal file sharing.

The Live Music Act 2012 amends the 2003 Licencing Act so that licences for many types of live performances are no longer required.

The Enterprise Act 2002 gives the government the power to intervene and make decisions in cases of media mergers to protect the public interest and plurality of the media.