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Topic - Cultural and creative industries

Cultural and creative industries

Introduction

Spanning a wide range of different fields ranging from architecture and music to advertising, the cultural and creative industries are an exciting sector of business. People working in the industry 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. Be they 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. The German government wants to help the sector build a competitive edge and give innovative small-scale cultural firms and freelance artists better opportunities to make money. This is why the Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative (in german) was launched by the government in 2007. The initiative is coordinated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Four figures on the cultural and creative industries

150
Banknote-icon

approx. billion euros
is the industry’s annual turnover

1,6
Symbolicon für Menschen

approx. billion people
work in the cultural and creative industries

250
Symbolicon für Schreibtisch

approx. thousand
freelancers and commercial companies belong to the sector

97
Symbolicon für Tortendiagramm

approx. per cent
of companies are classed as micro-enterprises

Sector at a glance

A creative sector with huge potential

Since the late 1980s, the cultural and creative industries have turned into one of the most dynamic sectors in the global economy. Estimates show that they added more than €65.5 billion to the German economy alone in 2015. This puts them in the same league as major industrial sectors such as the automotive and engineering sector, chemicals, or 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.

In 2015, there were more than one million people in Germany working in the cultural and creative industries, of which 250,000 were working as freelancers and commercial entrepreneurs and more than 800,000 as employees subject to social-security contributions. The total number of people working in the industry, including those in minor employment, was higher than 1.6 million. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of employees subject to social-security contributions is estimated to have risen by more than 3 per cent. There was a total of 250,000 companies in the cultural and creative industries, generating combined turnover of more than €150 billion.

The German government publishes an annual Monitoring Report (PDF, 2MB) keeping track of the latest changes in the industry as part of its Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative.

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 Energy is using the Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative (in german) 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. For this reason, 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 Energy 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. The ministry is also working to facilitate access to credit for freelancers and small businesses in the sector. 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 advertises the innovative potential of the creative industries and operates platforms for networking. Its purpose is to highlight the importance of the cultural and creative industries as a sector of its own and as a driver of innovation.

Cultural and Creative Pioneers in Germany

The German government wants to highlight the creative potential of those working in the cultural and creative industries for all of the economy and of society. This is why the government, under its Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative, presents individuals who want to turn an extraordinary creative or cultural idea into a business with the title of cultural and creative pioneer in Germany (in german).

For more information about the competition, please click here (in german).

German Motion Picture Fund

Promoting digital filmmaking

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy provides €10 million of funding in support of the German film industry each year. The funding programme entitled the “German Motion Picture Fund” (GMPF) was established for this purpose. The programme is designed to boost the innovative and competitive strengths of the German film industry.

The Federal Government uses the GMPF in order to provide funding for innovative serial formats and digital film-making, with a special focus on promoting innovations. 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 GMPF also provides funding for high-budget international co-productions partly produced in Germany.

The concept underpinning this funding is to promote film-making in Germany and to give it a competitive edge over other European countries. At the same time, the funding provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy helps strengthen SME in the film business and safeguard the quality and diversity of German films.

Focusing on the digital economy

The “German Motion Picture Fund” is a stand-alone programme providing funding. It reflects the ministry’s policy priorities, which include the digital economy and innovative technology.

The programme is managed by the German Federal Film Board (FFA). It has accepted applications for funding since 15 December 2015. Click here for a list of all the projects that have received funding so far, and for accessing the relevant guidelines and forms.

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