UK Creative Immersive Landscape 2020 Report

This report provides an overview of the opportunities and the challenges that immersive producers within the creative industries face when they pursue projects from initial conception to launch.

The result of research conducted by Digital Catapult on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), as part of the Audience of the Future Demonstrator programme, the report provides a detailed overview of the market of creative immersive productions in the UK.

As part of the Audience of the Future programme, this research report conducted by Digital Catapult, looks to understand where opportunities for growth lie, and what the biggest obstacles to making commercial revenue are. Download the full report.

The UK’s creative industries are global leaders and the growth of this sector over the last five years has made it even more central to the country’s economy. However, a recent DCMS Select Committee inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 suggests that the pandemic poses ‘the biggest threat to the UK’s cultural infrastructure, institutions and workforce in a generation’. In the face of this massive challenge, new companies using digital technologies such as augmented, virtual and mixed reality, indicate new routes to revenue, recovery and growth for the creative industries.

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Digital Catapult’s previous research on behalf of UKRI, published as Audience of the Future, The Immersive Audience Journey, discussed ways of thinking about immersive audiences more holistically when planning and executing a production.

It concluded that a more focused understanding of the target audience is key to the success of future immersive productions, and that success might not be qualified in terms of massive mainstream breakthroughs, but rather as more comprehensive reach and engagement with niche audiences that are both intensely interested in the work and large enough to be commercially viable..

This research picks up from this conclusion, exploring the challenges in reaching commercial viability, and ways in which a company might scale up from that point to becoming a sustainable business.

Report Highlights

One of the report’s key findings is that many immersive creators do not yet have the tools or connections to move towards revenue-driven models, and many remain in acycle of perpetual experimentation and R&D, with small immersive producers hoping to generate enough income through grant and client-funded projects to fund their work.

This, coupled with the ever changing hardware and software landscape, and a lack of support systems around distribution opportunities, means that it was already difficult for creative immersive businesses to find pathways to scale, even before we hit COVID.

“The examples explored in this report are some of the best-in-kind British immersive companies. They have all demonstrated agility and perseverance in the face of the many challenges posed by the pandemic, with each finding new models and opportunities, successfully pivoting to a digital distribution model.” 

Dr Jeremy Silver, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Catapult


The UK Creative Immersive Landscape 2020 report is aimed at understanding where the biggest obstacles lie in making creative immersive productions commercially viable and scalable, whether location-based or digitally distributed.

The results paint a holistic picture of the creative immersive landscape in 2020: the opportunities and the challenges that immersive producers within the creative industries face when they pursue projects from initial conception to launch. The research answers the need for accessible tools for development by introducing business model innovation tools, aimed at helping creative producers to rethink their business logic.

Download report

Related Reports

Immersive Audience Journey Report

As part of the Audience of the Future programme, this research report conducted by Digital Catapult supports market growth by providing detailed insight into immersive audiences. It explores the concept of ‘audiences’ when applied to immersive productions in the fields of art, culture, heritage and entertainment.

Read more

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