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Article - Cultural and creative industries

Cultural and Creative Industries

Introduction

Spanning a wide range of different fields – from architecture and music to advertising, the cultural and creative industries are an exciting sector of business. People working across these industries include freelance artists and creative minds and art dealers, agents and gallery-owners who have set up micro-enterprises.

The cultural and creative industries are, of course, characterised by creative minds creating things. Whether they are authors or film-makers, representatives of the visual or performing arts, architects, designers or developers of computer games – all these people stand for quality, cultural diversity, and creative renewal. At the same time, they also help build a fast-growing, innovative and knowledge-based economy.

In fact, the cultural and creative industries are among the fastest-growing industries in the global economy. In order for them to remain so, the sector needs to become more competitive and innovative small cultural businesses and freelance artists need better opportunities to make money. This is why, in 2007, the Federal Government launched the Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative (in German). The initiative is coordinated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Four figures on the cultural and creative industries (2019)

174,1
Banknote-icon

billion euros
of turnover created by the sector

1,8
Symbolicon für Menschen

million people
work in the cultural and creative industries

258,8
Symbolicon für Schreibtisch

thousand
freelancers and commercial companies belong to the sector

3,1
Symbolicon für Tortendiagramm

per cent
is the share of gross domestic product generated by the sector

Sector at a glance

A creative sector with huge potential

Since the late 1980s, the cultural and creative industries have developed into one of the most dynamic sectors in the global economy. Estimates show that they added nearly €106.4 billion to the German economy in 2019. This means that the sector outstrips key economic sectors like the chemical industry, energy suppliers and financial services.

The cultural and creative industries comprise all cultural and creative enterprises that mostly work for profit and produce and/or disseminate cultural or creative products and services. The definition does not cover companies, institutions or associations that rely on public-sector financing.

As part of its Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative, the German government publishes an annual Monitoring Report (PDF, 11 MB) keeping track of the latest changes in the industry.

According to the latest Monitoring Report, there were more than 1.2 million people working in the cultural and creative industries (as their main occupation), of which 258,000 were freelancers and commercial entrepreneurs and 976,977 employees subject to social-security contributions. The total number of people working in the industry, including those working in the sector as a sideline occupation, was higher than 1.8 million. Turnover in the cultural and creative industries grew by approx. €40 billion between 2009 and 2019, reaching a total of €174.1 billion in 2019. This corresponds to an average annual growth rate of 2.6%.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this positive trend will not continue. Significant revenue losses are expected to have been made in 2020. The submarkets of the cultural and creative industries have been affected to varying degrees by the Covid-19 pandemic: whilst high losses are expected for the performing arts, film, arts and music, in particular, other submarkets such as architecture, press and software/games are likely to be much more resilient.

Diagrams on cultural and creative industries

The cultural and creative industries initative

Fostering competitive and dynamic creative industries in Germany

The Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative was launched by the German government and seeks to give the sector a competitive edge and to help create even more jobs. In addition to this, innovative small cultural businesses and freelance artists are to be given better opportunities for making money.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (in German) is using the Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative to support the sector in many different ways. The government seeks to give the cultural and creative industries what it takes for them to be able to establish themselves as a distinctive sector, and to withstand competitive pressure. At the same time, the government would like to foster stronger business networks within the sector itself.

  • It has initiated a network open for all stakeholders, which is to be used to disseminate information about potential sources of funding and to support startups in the industry.
  • Beyond this, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action wants to adjust the programmes it has launched as part of its economic and technology policies to be able to provide more funding to cultural and creative businesses.
  • Freelancers and small businesses in the sector are to be given easier access to financing.
  • Cultural and creative businesses are also to gain better access to the ministry’s foreign trade promotion policies, which will make it easier for them to showcase themselves abroad.
  • The German Artists’ Social Security Fund is to be upheld and its services stabilised for the future.
  • The government also wants to adjust digital copyright law to restore the right balance between the respective rights of copyright holders and users.

The German Government’s Centre of Excellence for the Cultural and Creative Industries

Since 2016, the Federal Government’s Centre of Excellence for the Cultural and Creative Industries (in German) has been promoting cooperation between the creative industries and other sectors. The centre promotes the innovative potential of the creative industries and operates platforms for networking. Its purpose is to better highlight the importance of the cultural and creative industries as a sector of its own and as a driver of innovation.

The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control has conducted an evaluation of the Centre of Excellence for the period 2010-2015. The Report (in German) confirms the success of the Centre’s work, highlighting not only the breadth and content of the services it offers to companies in the cultural and creative industries, but also the work of the Centre in making the sector more visible, in strengthening the sector’s professional profile, in fostering networking among cultural and creative professionals, and in enabling the range of services offered by numerous German Länder to be maintained.

Cultural and Creative Pioneers in Germany

There is enormous creative potential for the economy and society in those working in the cultural and creative industries. In order to highlight this, the Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative has established a competition in which entrepreneurs are awarded the title of cultural and creative pioneer in Germany. The title is bestowed on successful participants who want to launch a business based on a special creative or cultural idea.

German Motion Picture Fund

Promoting digital filmmaking

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action also promotes the innovative power and competitiveness of the German film industry. As part of this work, it has established the German Motion Picture Fund (GMPF).

The German Motion Picture Fund (GMPF), which was initiated by the fromer Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and has now been transferred to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, seeks to make Germany a more competitive and innovative production location for films. Funding has been provided for projects including ‘Berlin Station’, a spy series, the ‘Babylon Berlin’ series set in Berlin in the 1920s, and for ‘You are wanted’, the first German series produced for the Amazon Prime streaming service. The concept underpinning this funding is to promote film-making in Germany and to give it a competitive edge over other European countries. An overview of the projects that have received funding thus far can be found here.

More information on the funding available for filmmaking from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media can be found here (in German).

The German Federal Film Board is responsible for the management of the GMPF. You can find more information here (in German).

Further information

Press release

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  • 19/11/2021 - Press release - Economic Policy

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  • 14/10/2021 - Press release - Economic Policy

    From today, self-employed persons can apply for New Start Assistance Plus for the period from October to December 2021

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Museum Brandhorst depicted to symbolise the cultural and creative industries; Quelle: iStock.com/tichr