Culture and the creative industry are among the economy’s most innovative sectors. In Germany, their contribution to total economic output (gross value added) is steadily increasing and today is already on a par with major sectors of industry, such as mechanical engineering. Sales by the creative industries, which now embrace some 249,000 companies and in which 1.5 million people work, totalled around 145 billion euros in 2013.
The common core of work in culture and the creative industries is the creative act underlying artistic, literary, cultural, musical, architectural and creative content, works, products, productions, and services. Structurally speaking, the sector is defined by self-employed freelancers, and small or micro-enterprises (97 percent). They are primarily private-sector based – meaning not first and foremost in the public sector (museums, theatre, orchestras) or part of civil society (arts, associations, foundations). Through the consistent promotion of start-ups, in many cities a raft of service providers has arisen in the fields of design, software and games in particular. Specifically, the software and games industry relies on interfacing different segments, such as film, video, music, text and animation, to tap the sector’s potential and in 2013 this spawned total sales of 31 billion euros. The Berlin-Brandenburg region leads the way, with a good 200 companies. No other area has such a concentrated gaming infrastructure, including the relevant colleges. That said, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Cologne and Munich all have clear creative industry clusters. A closely interlocking range of consultancies, networks and grants provides an ideal basis for this, along with high-performance IT infrastructures.