As 5G connectivity continues to roll out UK5G, the government body charged with promoting the use of 5G in the UK, has announced a campaign to focus on four priority vertical sectors: creative industries, manufacturing, transport and logistics, and health and social care. Of these Creative Industries is their first focus and they have built a creative industries hub to help businesses and organisations to understand how 5G can help them create new and innovative experiences.

The Focus

Why then is the creative industry so important? Well, according to DCMS, creative industries contributed £115.9bn to the UK economy in 2019. That’s more than automotive, aerospace, life sciences and oil and gas combined. That may come as some surprise, but it’s also a sector that is growing faster than the UK economy as a whole and where the UK is a global leader. You can see why this makes it a focus, but it’s also a sector that can derive huge benefits from 5G, perhaps more so than any other. According to Intel’s 5G Economics of Entertainment report, 5G could bring $1.3trillion in new revenues for the media and entertainment industries by 2028 and 57% of global wireless media revenues will be generated using 5G by 2025. Furthermore, Ericsson’s ConsumerLab report found that 48% of people believe that most of their entertainment will take place on-line, rising to 65% for Gen Z. Clearly the future for this sector is predominantly on-line and mobile, so how can 5G be a gamechanger for them?

As I’ve discussed before, 5G can provide capabilities to deliver virtual and augmented experiences on the move that were just not possible before, but that’s not the only benefit for creative industries. It can bring major operational benefits too. Let’s look at these in a little more detail.

Limitless Possibilities

Immersive, interactive, virtual and augmented experiences will all benefit from the high bandwidth and low latency that 5G delivers, supplemented by edge computing. These technologies will enable content producers to create on-line experiences that were just not possible before. I’ve talked before about the possibilities to create different views, instant replays and fan interaction at live sports events and the possibilities for e-Sports, but 5G is also creating possibilities for remote Music Festivals, Theatre productions, Opera and Art Galleries. Creating experiences that are not just live streaming but are also augmented and interactive to increase their footprint and people’s engagement with the content.

Operationally, 5G is enabling creative industries to be more agile. It’s changing the way content is produced distributed and broadcast allowing new workflows and processes that are more dynamic and reactive than before. High quality video can now come from virtually aware and be distributed virtually anywhere; seamlessly produced in one place, edited in another and augmented in another. Delivering a truly collaborative workflow. Then again, as a result of the pandemic, broadcasters are now looking to create remote, distributed virtual “Production Galleries” where staff that would normally be on-site can now be anywhere but interact as if they were in the same room.

The First Step

It’s easy to see why UK5G has chosen creative industries as the first vertical for an industry hub to rally those who want to take advantage of 5G, and I look forward to the subsequent roll out of the other three sectors, which I’ll be sure to cover here.