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This survey was conducted in December 2023 and covers a sample of businesses and freelancers from the screen, music, digital and publishing sectors in Wales.

Main findings

  • The survey was completed by 639 respondents from the screen (21%), music (26%), digital (26%) and publishing (27%) sectors, with over a third self-employed or freelancers, and 41% company owners or directors. 
  • The creative industries reported mixed experiences with regards to business performance, particularly in terms of changes in turnover – a quarter of business saw an increase compared to last financial year, just over a quarter saw a decrease and just under half reported no change. 
  • Increasing profitability, improving marketing opportunities, and being more sustainable are the top three key priorities amongst the sectors. Growing the workforce is less of a priority compared to 2022.
  • Respondents are more confident than not about running their business profitably next year, although confidence is overall slightly lower compared to 2022. The digital sector showed the most confidence about running a profitable business and the music sector the least. Freelancers are less confident than employers, employees and those who are self-employed. 
  • Around a third of freelancers faced difficulties in finding jobs for certain roles. Those in the screen and digital sectors reported more difficulties, compared to freelancers in the Music sector.
  • 8% of businesses experienced challenges with staff retention and 16% of businesses encountered difficulties in filling specific roles. The top three factors are thought to be due to people moving away from Wales for employment, skills gaps, and competition from other companies. 
  • Skills and training remain an issue for both businesses and freelancers, with the most common areas of skills gaps reported to be sector-specific skills, technological skills and Welsh language ability.
  • Similar to 2022, the industry would most like to see further financial support, increased opportunities for networking, and improved access and availability of business support and advice from Creative Wales.


Creative Wales Industry Survey: 2023 , file type: PDF, file size: 1 MB

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Sophie Roberts

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