Creative Industry Trends

Updated on 18 January 2021

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What will the local creative industry look like in 2021 and beyond? The industry has never been more crucial but without investment, it faces potential collapse, says Preetesh Sewraj, Loeries CEO. He is an experienced business leader well regarded for his insights on branding activity, social media strategy, innovation and media.

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Creative Industry Trends 2020

The creative industry is very diverse and encompasses some of the following disciplines – design, music, publishing and architecture, film and video, crafts, visual arts, fashion, TV and radio, advertising, literature, computer games and the performing arts. Sewraj talks about the important role played by the creative industry in the pandemic and why entrepreneurs need to add value to remain relevant.


On the impact
of COVID-19 on 2021 trends

COVID-19 will continue its impact on the creative industry and society overall well into 2021.

Key is that the analogy that I use is that when a fan is turned off its blades do not stop turning despite it not receiving electricity. This pandemic is the same – we may get a vaccine but that does not stop the impact of the virus on business and society.

The creative industry has been pivotal in uplifting society by supporting brands, government and healthcare in their need to communicate. This has been a good learning but we also know that this industry needs investment to grow and be useful to society.

One of the major realisations is that if we do not see investment into the industry then we risk crippling an essential service at a time when we need it the most.

We need a constant flow of new energy so if an entrepreneur sees an opportunity to add value to the industry then they need to embrace this now

Preetesh Sewraj, Loeries CEO

On emerging opportunities within the sector

It is easier than ever to enter the creative industry – this should be top-of-mind for entrepreneurs.

We need a constant flow of new energy so if an entrepreneur sees an opportunity to add value to the industry then they need to embrace this now. They will not find a better time to be a part of this vibrant industry. 

Key opportunities for 2021 include:

  • Live events: While this may seem counterintuitive based on the live event market in 2020, the reality is that a number of companies have closed in this area but demand is set to increase especially from mid to late 2021. This can prove to be an amazing growth area.
  • Social media: This is an area that keeps growing and evolving. It was also one of the more resilient areas during the challenges of 2021 and still offers attractive returns for entrepreneurs.
  • Shared value initiatives: Brands are looking for creative partners who can execute programmes that both benefit society while delivering profit for the brand. This is still an area where there are limited creative partners and therefore immense opportunity for entrepreneurs.

See also: The Biggest Markets in Johannesburg and Cape Town for Creative Entrepreneurs

On the growing significance of technology on the creative industry

Key is [to have] a good video conferencing platform. Zoom, Skype and even WhatsApp can be great options to ensure that you are constantly in touch with your clients and suppliers.

The other tools that will be key are to look at cloud-based solutions for storage, spreadsheets, word processing and presentations.

Having access to your data while being device agnostic will ensure that businesses have a robust work ecosystem that favours productivity over asset accumulation.   

Advice for Business Survival in 2021

The best businesses have started in a recession – this is a line that many entrepreneurs have heard in presentations and podcasts.

This is a tumultuous time for society but it is also the best opportunity for entrepreneurs to add value to society and receive a fair reward for these efforts.

Many businesses are closing but smart entrepreneurs will find that there are now several interesting opportunities that have the potential for longevity in a post-COVID-19 world.  

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