Germany, among other countries, has imposed a temporary shutdown of museums, theatres, concert halls and other event venues for November due to fast-increasing Covid-19 infections. As a consequence of this “lockdown light”, the media debate about the social significance of cultural events has once again heated up. The question of whether “culture” can generally be described as “essential” is not answered by the 2020 Cultural and Creative Industries Monitoring Report from the German government’s Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative. However, what it very much does contain are figures and data that prove what relevance industries such as software, games, advertising, the media, film, music, art, architecture and design have from an economic standpoint.
The report for 2019, the year prior to the coronavirus, shows overall positive development for the sector, with total revenue of EUR 174.1 bn, gross added value of EUR 106 bn and employment of about 1.8 m persons in total. The largest market within the German cultural and creative industry (CCI) by revenue is by far the software/games industry, which generated over EUR 50 bn in 2019 and therefore roughly a quarter of total revenues combined while also achieving the highest gross added value. It is followed by the media and advertising markets with about EUR 30 bn each, ahead of design with EUR 20.9 bn. With over 60,000, the design industry contains the most businesses (including sole traders) followed by the software/games industry and architecture market. The most social-security-registered jobs by far are within the software/games industry, which employs 430,020 people, while advertising had the highest number of people in low-income positions at 94,676. The most self-employed workers, including those with annual turnover of more than EUR 17,500 (above the VAT registration threshold) as well as below EUR 17,500, are to be found working in the design industry. The comparison with other industries is particularly informative. Gross value added by the CCI, for example, was EUR 106.4 bn and ranked below carmakers (162.1 bn) and machine engineering (111.1 bn), but ahead of financial services (74.1 bn), chemicals (51.8 bn) and energy supply (49.7 bn).
Instead of studying a focus issue as in previous years, the latest report developed a forecast for 2020 revenues in the CCI and its submarkets. This sector too must expect significant revenue losses for the current year due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the scenario analysis, revenue could decline by roughly EUR 23 bn (–13%) in the base-case scenario or by more than EUR 42 bn (–24%) in the worst-case scenario. An abridged version of the latest report can be downloaded free of charge.
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