Your Brief Overview of the Media Industry

The creative industries can be very exciting to work in. The projects you work on may be seen by millions across the world, yet there’s so much more than what you watch. The latest hit on Netflix is the final product after thousands of contributors have excelled in their own roles to bring together the finished piece for audiences.

That workforce is diverse and hosts a broad set of skills, hence there are thousands of opportunities every year. In this guide, we want to give you a short oversight of the media industry and showcase some of the areas you could work.

What sectors can I work in?

  • Advertising
  • Animation
  • Trade publishing (B2B)
  • Digital Marketing
  • Film
  • Interactive Media
  • Music
  • Post-Production
  • Publishing
  • Radio
  • Scriptwriting
  • Special Effects
  • Technical Production
  • Television
  • Video Games

Who are the main employers?

The creative industries employ nearly 2 million people in the UK. Some of the largest employers include:


  • DMGT
  • Guardian Media Group
  • Reach PLC (Daily Mirror, Daily Express)
  • Telegraph Media Group
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Informa
  • BuzzFeed

Film & TV Production

  • Aardman Animations
  • Kudos
  • Tiger Aspect
  • Banijay
  • BBC Studios
  • ITV Studios
  • Working Title Films
  • The Ink Factory


  • Bauer Media Group
  • Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Future PLC
  • HarperCollins
  • Hearst Magazines

Broadcasting and Streaming

  • Amazon
  • BBC
  • Channel 4
  • Global Radio
  • ITV
  • Netflix
  • Sky
  • UKTV

What’s it like working in the sector?

Experiences can vary widely for people in the creative industries. It’s heavily reliant on freelancers who specialise in particular skills (camerawork, editing, sound mixing etc.). Yet, permanent, salaried positions are available in sectors and roles, so finding what you’re comfortable with is the best approach.

Thankfully, many entrants to the media industry start out with a few jobs as Runners on production. This is a good grounding to build on as you’ll gain vital understanding and knowledge of the industry and all the different elements that come together to produce and distribute a film or TV show.

Key issues in the industry

It’s important to recognise that the industry has its problems, especially for entrants. It remains one of the most difficult industries to gain some valuable experience in at an early stage of your career. However, once you’re in, progression can be rapid.

The UK is currently experiencing major growth in the creative industries, driven by our production sector which has become the number one destination to produce film and TV outside of Hollywood. Alongside generous tax incentives, the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Amazon have invested £1bn each into new original content produced in the UK.

On the publishing and journalism side, the digital transition continues as the physical newspaper fades away, replaced by the screen and digital copies. Alongside this comes a challenge of making money in the online world. Modern journalists now need a broad range of skills, including an understanding of social media, data and video to excel in new world of news.

Find out more