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What’s The Future of The Creative Industry?

Anyone who works in the creative industry (myself included) will tell you that technology has been a very double-edged sword for creatives. While tools like Photoshop, tablets, and the cloud, have made life much easier for artists; crowdsourcing, lack of proper attribution online, and the wealth of readily available images and text to use (legally or illegally) have seriously devalued the creative market.   

There was a time when copywriters and other creatives were highly-valued professionals and paid accordingly for their time. Now, when an employer can spend a day’s minimum wage to get dozens of people to take a crack at their project, why would they bother to pay a professional?

Thankfully, for everyone involved in the creative circle, creative crowdsourcing has started to garner the poor public perception it deserves in recent years and a switch back to dedicated teams has begun. The reason is people finally starting to realize that although you may receive dozens of versions of your project crowdsourcing, the creatives spend as little time putting them together as possible because they know there’s a good chance they won’t be paid.   

For more on that and other changes headed to the creative industry in years to come, we asked a group of industry experts…

What’s The Future Of The Creative Industry?

Here’s what they had to say…

Amanda Curtis, CEO & Co-founder of Nineteenth Amendment

“Creativity is the highest form of intelligence and it is an intelligence not easily replicated by machine. In 15-20 years when almost all other industries will be highly automated the creative industries will be even higher valued​. I predict a creative renaissance as more people find gainful employment in this broader and in-demand creative space. Creative industries like fashion, music, and writing will become more democratized and diverse with niche options and a greater array of creative individuals.”


Ben Lloyd, COO of Property Moose

“At the moment, the economy places a premium on less creative, more quantitative skills, such as mathematics and science. Arts and creative professionals are less well remunerated than those with purely logical and analytical skills. I believe that this balance will tip in the future in favour of creativity and the creative industry. As technology continues to advance, machines will fulfill many of the functions of analysts and actuaries. Skills that cannot be programmed into a computer, such as creativity and imagination, will become more coveted and therefore more influential constituent parts of all businesses.”


William Gadea, Founder & Creative Director of IdeaRocket

“Some people think the creative industry will be immune from the AI revolution… They are wrong. To be sure, machines will not be able to create stories that speak to our souls any time soon, or devise strategy. But there are parts of our business – buying and testing, for example – that will be overtaken by machines in less than five years. Low-end creative will be the next to go: display ads, template campaigns for local businesses. And I imagine there might be tools that assist designers –something like a grammar-check for design that asks: Are you sure about this color combination? You might want to check the title hierarchy. And looks like you have separation issues over here! Ultimately, design follows rules just like grammar does.”


Brandon Philbrick, Creative Director at Leighton Interactive

“I see the future of the creative industry continuously leaning towards a user-centric point of view that is dominated by originality. Although clever and eye-catching creative will never become obsolete, the lens at which it is viewed will be dominated and led by what the user needs and has never seen. Users will continuously be flooded with so much disposable content, that anything without an immediate and specific interest will be overlooked. Consider the multiple life hacks, gimmicks, and tricks that are used today and how much traction they get – it’s simply because they are new and fresh. The creative industry will want to prepare for much more of this. Its future will not only demand creativity and problem solving but complete originality and the ability to create and share what’s never been done before.”


Brock Hart, Co-founder & CEO of Overlap

“Our future is being shaped now by artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. This is the next wave, and it’s shape is changing by the hour. Autonomous cars used to be simply science fiction.

The Human Genome project mapped the entire human genome in 2003 for $2.7 billion. By mid-2015, it cost $1500 to map an individual genome. As these technologies develop and become accessible to more and more individuals, our behaviour as a collective is also changing: we become more isolated, our concepts of identity are challenged, and we relate to each other differently than before.

The creative industry plays a critical role now and in the future in facilitating those transformations with organizations, communities, cities and institutions. By democratizing design and sharing our methods for creative problem solving and innovation with each other, we will leverage these opportunities for collective transformation for the better.”


Lisa Kipps-Brown, President & CEO of Glerin Business Resources, Inc.

“10-15 years, the importance of strategic-thinking creatives will have exploded as clients began to understand that creativity isn’t just what something looks like. It’s about usability, purpose, and functionality.

I was once told that any monkey can make a website. Yes, any monkey can also dig a hole and stick a plant in it, but that doesn’t mean it will thrive. Sun exposure, soil type, water needs, space required… That’s strategy.

Even with professionally designed website templates, a designer still needs to understand the effects of navigation, traffic funnels, buyer personas, color, and copywriting. That’s strategy. With strategy, there’s purpose to everything.”


Matt Ferebee, Principal & Co-founder of Ferebee Lane

“A defining aspect of the next 10 to 15 years in advertising and marketing will be how companies continue to use technology personalize and depersonalize communication. There’s currently a gap between companies that are navigating user-managed content platforms well to create those personalized messages and those who don’t and that gap is only growing. Some will engage in even more humanized, narrative ways that enhance the authenticity and power of their voice, while others will seem even more irrelevant and unappealing because of their tone deaf communication. In a nutshell, the near term will be a proving ground for individuals as well as brands – a critical time in a shifting landscape that reveals who is genuinely embracing the dialogue available through social media, versus those who can’t let go of the monologue style approach that has dominated mass media for so long.”


Ami Murphy Iannone, Creative Community Director for Snapfluence

“Based on what we’ve seen to date, the creative industry’s future will be:

– Innately social: Dialogues developing between brands and consumers will continue to deepen. The one-way broadcast of sales messages will be so useless that no one will bother anymore. Therefore, creatives will need to foster communities around their work in order to attract brand attention. Creatives must also become influential.

– Immersive: Brands won’t have to debate which “channel” they should use because it won’t really matter. Everything will be available everywhere. For creatives, this doesn’t mean becoming a jack of all trades, it means being really great at your thing. Tech will emerge to help you adapt your kickass thing to whatever “platform” is needed.

– Contingent on Trust: As it always has been and always will be. Trust is required between creator and community as well as between brands and the creative talent they source.”


About the author

Nick Hastreiter

I write about the future of business. I approach this by interviewing founders, CEO's, and other game changers to share their vision for the future of their industry.

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