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 253,000 companies and in which 1.6 million people work, totalled around 154 billion euros in 2016. The Federal Government intends specifically to strengthen the cultural and creative industries, further developing support schemes and financing options to this end.
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. 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 2016 this spawned total sales of 29 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 am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Cologne, and Munich all have distinct creative industry clusters.