The business of film
The business of film

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

The business of film

1.2 Value and the creative and cultural industries

Described image
Figure 3 What is culture’s relationship to value, and the consumer market?

Within cultural industries, goods and services are largely symbolic. They are based around the communication of ideas, rather than functional value.

Activities that produce films are part of the cultural industries. Those such as fashion design, advertising and architecture, where there is symbolic content, but where functionality comes first, are not considered to be part of the cultural industries, but are part of the wider creative industries.

So what is culture’s relationship to value, and the consumer market? There is a long-standing debate about culture as a public good, and the uplifting role of art and its civilising effect on society. Does treating creative cultural production as a commodity allow business and management to encroach on cultural life?

David Throsby (2001) presented a definition incorporating the issue of ‘use value’. This brought in consideration of both the economic and cultural sides of the cultural industries. He argues that:

  1. the activities of the cultural industries involve some form of creativity in their production
  2. the cultural industries are concerned with the generation and communication of symbolic meaning
  3. their output includes some form of intellectual property.

Individual productions achieve this to varying extents, but these industries should properly be defined within the cultural sector because generating and communicating meaning is the main output of each.

Economic production is also the production of value. As the practices of business and markets take hold, might the non-financial value of ‘culture’ and ‘art’ be lost?


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371