The culture industries are a separate and autonomous pillar of cultural life in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Generally, the cultural field is divided into three sectors: a) private cultural enterprises, b) state or municipal publicly financed institutions and c) not-for-profit, intermediary organisations, foundations, associations etc. According to the Conference of Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy in 2009 the cultural and creative industry consists of 11 submarkets: music industry, book market, art market, film industry, broadcasting industry, performing arts market, architecture market, design industry, press market, advertising market and software and games industry (and others).
Once a year the Centre for European Economic Research (Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung ZEW) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung ISI) examine the status and perspectives of the cultural and creative industries in Germany on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, which is publishes in the annual monitoring report “Cultural and Creative Industries”.
According to the current monitoring report Culture and Creative Industries 2019 there were about 256,600 companies active in 2018 (comparison to 2017: no significant change). These companies generated a turnover of EUR 18.3 billion (comparison to 2017: +1.9 %). A total of around 938,000, and thus 2.9% of all employees subject to social insurance contributions, were employed in this sector. Added to this were the approximately 257,000 self-employed. Thus, the core employment in the cultural and creative industries in 2018 was about 1,195,000. If the 302,000 marginally employed and the 199,000 marginally employed (self-employed and freelancers with an annual turnover of less than 17,500 EUR) are also taken into account, the total number of working population for 2018 was almost 1.7 million. In 2018, the cultural and creative industries contributed 100.5 billion EUR, or around 3 percent of the total gross value added.
In the meantime, cultural and creative industry reports are available in all federal states, which are updated at different intervals. The most recent versions are listed here: Baden-Württemberg 2018, Bavaria 2012, Berlin 2008, Bremen 2010, Brandenburg 2009, Hamburg 2012, Hesse 2016, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 1997, Lower Saxony 2007, North Rhine-Westphalia 2007, Rhineland-Palatinate 2008, Saarland 2010, Saxony 2017, Saxony-Anhalt 2015, Schleswig-Holstein 2017 and Thuringia 2009. Numerous municipalities have also published cultural and creative industries reports – e.g. Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Aachen, Dresden, Cologne and Karlsruhe.
As in other countries, strategic partnerships in Germany, are increasingly being formed between the public and private sectors (public-private partnerships), in order to fund cultural projects and institutions. These strategic partnerships are expected to proliferate in the future. Even during periods of sluggish economic activity, the culture industries have been determined as an economic growth factor. Culture industries have been increasingly supported through cultural policy measures: indirectly through measures like tax exemptions and more directly e.g. though support to a music export office.
In 2007, intense discussions were held on the relevance of culture and creative industries for economic development and the employment situation in Germany. The Federal Government, in particular the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, introduced the programme Culture Initiative and the Creative Industries as a method of optimising the framework for their growth and to financially and infrastructurally support the “Music Initiative”, a core area of the creative Industries. This topic held an important place in the German EU Presidency, in the first half of 2007.
In the report of the Commission of Enquiry of the German Parliament, cultural industries occupy a prominent position in the report. The Yearbook for Cultural Policy 2008 (“Jahrbuch für Kulturpolitik 2008”) of the Institute of Cultural Policy within the Association for Cultural Policy (Institut für Kulturpolitik der Kulturpolitischen Gesellschaft) is likewise dedicated to this subject.
There are special training and in-service training programmes for professionals in the culture industries. At the higher education level, a number of cultural management and cultural marketing courses have been set up in the last ten years, which also provide qualifications for the culture industry sphere (e.g. the Institute for Culture Management at Ludwigsburg College of Education, the Academy of Music and Theatre, Hamburg, Passau University); they concentrate, however, on management and marketing methods. There are more concrete efforts to provide training – organised by private business – in the individual industry sectors and also, for example, within publicly financed small business start-up programmes for art and the culture industries. Exemplary in this area, has been StartART, which formed part of the North Rhine-Westphalia start-up network Go!nrw, and, within that, the Start Up Centre Culture Industry Aachen (Gründerzentrum Kulturwirtschaft Aachen).
In 2007, the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Northrhine-Westphalia started a new programme in this field, particularly for young cultural entrepreneurs and artists with Create nrw.
In 2010 the initiative took another important step by setting up a Centre of Excellence for Culture and Creative Industries in Eschborn with 8 regional offices. The Centre of Excellence was inaugurated during the regional conference held by the office of North Rhine- Westphalia in April 2012, by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The task of the competence centre is “to make the cultural and creative industries visible, to communicate their interdisciplinary potential for the economy, society and politics and to develop solutions for challenges affecting the sector together with the players”. The implementation is achieved by networking within and across sectors and by the conception and implementation of cross-border cooperation and special event formats