How can the creative industries come together to share how COVID-19 is impacting the sector?

Collecting data from across the sector to help policymakers understand and respond to the ongoing crisis

At a time of huge uncertainty in all areas of the economy, including the creative industries, many are trying to understand the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our sector. Public venues, freelance workers, and micro and small businesses are important features of the creative industries, and all are threatened by the pandemic. At the PEC we want to help policymakers by signposting in one place the rapidly growing number of initiatives to collect survey data on the impacts. 

If you are working in the creative industries, and are able to, we ask that you feed into any of these initiatives that are relevant to you. It is vital that we have the best possible picture of the unfolding impacts the crisis is having on your sector. This will allow policymakers to best target their support efforts.

If you are launching a survey on the impact of COVID-19 and would like to add it to this list, please contact us at If you are designing a survey on the impacts of COVID-19 and would like advice on how to make it as useful as possible, we have published 10 tips for designing business surveys to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the creative industries

Of course, surveys are not the only instrument for collecting data on the ongoing COVID-19 impacts. We are aware that the creative industries are tracking other data like video on demand and streaming data too. What companies say in public, including on their websites, and what is reported in the media also contains valuable information. At the PEC we are interested in talking to - and, if useful signposting - such data efforts too.

For practical advice on dealing with the pandemic including links to sub-sector and union advice, the Creative Industries Federation have pulled together a list of key resources

Surveys for UK businesses
Live surveys

Baseline - Creative Kernow

Collecting data about the impact of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural sectors in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.


Collecting case studies from freelancers who are not covered by the support that has already been announced by the government for self-employed workers, specifically from those who are paid by PAYE and sole traders and Personal Service Companies (PSC).


Surveying the youth circus sector on the financial impact of COVID-19, CircusWorks is still encouraging responses and will update the survey.

Crafts Council - UK

Collecting data from makers to help measure the potential impact facing craft businesses during COVID-19.

Creative and Cultural Sector Coronavirus Impact Study - UK 

Collecting data with the ambition to create an independent record of the projects, productions and contracts the sector stands to lose, or have already lost, as a direct result of COVID-19.

Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Surveying the freelance visual arts sector to understand the impact of Arts Council England and HM Treasury’s emergency sector support measures on the sector.

Creative Industries Federation - UK 

Surveying creative businesses and freelancers from the 27 March on the financial impact of COVID-19 and whether UK Government interventions are sufficient.

Culture Counts, Scotland - UK  

For organisations and individuals in Scotland's arts, screen, heritage and creative industries to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the Scottish cultural sector.

Independent Cinema Office - UK 

Collating responses from cinema workers and employers to understand the impact of Covid-19 on them.  

The Irish Museums Association - The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland 

Collating information about the impact of Covid-19 on museums in The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including on audiences and lost income.

The Ivors Academy - UK  

Collecting data to help estimate the losses to British music creators of COVID-19 over the next six months. 

Music Managers Forum (MMF) - UK 

Collecting data to help quantify the losses resulting from COVID-19 on British music makers and their representatives, including musicians, music producers, songwriters, composers, lyricists, music engineers, singers and MMF members.

The Musicians’ Union - UK

Collecting data to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the work of musicians including financial impact and loss of opportunities.

The North East Culture Partnership

Researching the impact of COVID-19 on the arts and heritage sector in the North East to build a picture of key issues faced by the sector.

ScreenSkills - UK

Collecting data from freelancers in the screen workforce to understand how ScreenSkills might be able to support them with a range of activities.

Network of European Museum Organisations - Europe  

Collecting data from European museums to understand how they are dealing with COVID-19.


Collecting data from games businesses to understand the impact on those organisations of COVID-19.

Complete surveys

The Artists Information Company (a-n) - UK 

Collected data from their members on the impact of COVID-19 on the visual arts community. Ran from 20-24th March 2020.

The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) - UK 

Collected data from games industry businesses on the immediate, short-term impacts that the pandemic is having on the industry, how businesses believe it may impact on them in the mid to long-term, and the measures they need from the Government. Closed 27th March 2020. 


Surveyed 5,600 people about their response to the Government’s provisions for the creative industries in the face of Covid-19. The survey began on 12th March and closed at 6:00pm on 16th March, just as the government was announcing further measures, including advice to avoid theatres, to stop the spread of Covid-19. See the results.

British Fashion Council 

Surveyed 99 people about their response to the Government’s provisions for the creative industries in the face of COVID-19. The survey included their designer members, committee ambassadors, colleges council, patrons and partners, retailers and fashion showroom businesses. It opened on 18th March and closed on 21st March, just as the Government announced further measures.

Creative Cardiff - Wales

Collected data from 237 self-employed people working in the creative industries in Wales about the impact of Covid-19 on their work. Results include 60% of respondents to the survey saying that their work had dried up completely since the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey ran from 27-30th March 2020. 

Creative Industries Federation - UK 

Surveyed creative industries businesses and freelancers on their response to COVID-19 and on their predictions for their incomes.

The Heritage Fund - UK

Collected data on the impact of COVID-19 on the heritage sector. Closed 27th March 2020.

Music Producers Guild, UK

Collated views from the music sub-sector to better understand the potential impact of COVID-19 on the sector, including loss of earnings. Closed at 12:00am on 25th March 2020.

The Publishers Association - UK 

Collated views from publishers to inform the Publishers Association’s response to the ongoing public health crisis and its impact on the publishing industry. Closed at 12:00pm on Wednesday 25th March 2020. 

Other data being collected about UK businesses

Performing Arts COVID-19 sector benchmarks

TRG Arts and Purple Seven have partnered to provide real-time intelligence and advice to the arts and cultural sector on the economic impact of COVID-19 by bringing together live sales feeds from hundreds of venues around the world to provide data analysis, counsel on insights, and intelligence for governments. The service is free and new organisations are welcome to confidentially share their data through a daily feed from their box office to Purple Seven’s secure, UK-based servers.

International surveys
Live surveys

Ad World Masters - global: Collecting data on the effects and expectations of COVID-19 on the agency industry.

Americans for the Arts - USA 

Collecting information about the financial and human impacts that the spread of  COVID-19 has had on arts and cultural organisations in the USA since January 2020. 

California Arts Field Strategy - USA 

The California Arts Council is surveying the arts field at-large to gather data on the potential financial impacts of this public health emergency.

Creative British Columbia - British Columbia, Canada 

Collecting data to better understand the impact COVID-19 has had on creative industry events and projects across the province. 

Creative Industries Coronavirus Impact Survey - South Africa 

Collecting data on the losses on the creative industries in South Africa due to Covid-19.

CreativePH - Philippines 

For artists, cultural workers, freelance content creators and creative gig workers in the Philippines to provide information on the financial impact of COVID-19 on their livelihoods. 

European Creative Business Network - EU 

European Creative Business Network (ECBN) is an advocacy institution for the European culture and creative industries. With this survey, they are trying to assess the impact on the sector in the coming weeks in order to be able to formulate current support and relief recommendations to European policymakers. 

New York City Office of Nightlife - USA

For nightlife workers, freelancers, and businesses in New York City Impacted by COVID-19. 

Complete surveys

Statista Research Department - Italy

This survey was conducted in Italy from 26-28th February and from 14-16th March. It collected data from 656 freelancers on whether they had experienced cancellations and suspensions of commissions. Results were published on the 18th March 2020.

European Creative Business Network - EU (mid March - beginning of April)

The European Creative Business Network has published the results of the first 7000 participants from their survey on the impact of COVID-19. Highlights include a suggestion that cultural and creative businesses in Europe expect to lose a sum of €273 billion in turnover by the end of 2020. The survey ran from mid-March - beginning of April 2020 and the results were published on the 8th April. 

Other data being collected internationally

Compendium: cultural policies and trends 

Compendium has asked their expert authors to gather country specific information on the implications of COVID-19 for the cultural sector and the current measures being taken. They have shared the responses received and they are also collecting and curating a page of online, cultural initiatives.

24 March 2020