Berlin’s Creative Industries: A breakdown

10 May, 2024

Berlin is a hub of creativity, buzzing with musicians, filmmakers, performers and video games developers. These creative communities are diverse and open-minded, committed to pushing the boundaries of art, whether that is integrating new technologies into their workflows or developing innovative storytelling techniques.

Inspiration is certainly not hard to come by in Berlin: the city’s rich cultural heritage provides a wealth of material for creatives to draw on. World-famous art movements have thrived here, including expressionism and the Bauhaus movement, both of which spanned multiple creative disciplines. Indeed, you can learn just as much through Berlin’s architecture as you can in its museums.

Students sit around music production software, editing some sound.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, artists flocked to the city, attracted by cheap rent and excess studio space. Today, creatives are also drawn to the city by its “excellent funding landscape and production infrastructure” (Berlin Business Location Centre). At BIMM University Berlin, we’ll help you make the most of all these opportunities and ensure that you have all you need to bring your projects to life. But first, let’s take a look at Berlin’s creative industries.

The numbers

According to the Berlin Business Location Centre*:

  • The media and creative industries in Berlin employ 265,000 people and have an annual turnover of €44 billion.
  • Over 15% of the German music industry is based in Berlin, and the city also contains the highest number of people in the country who make a living from music.
  • There are more than 5,000 film and TV companies in Berlin, which produce over 300 films per year.
  • The video games industry encompasses around 350 companies and generates approximately €400 million each year.

*Data correct as of 10 May 2024

Music

A band plays on stage to an audience. The band comprises of a keyboard player, a vocalist and guitarist, and a drummer.

A new organisation called Music Tech Europe has been founded with the aim of driving innovation in the European music industry. This international scheme fosters cooperation between music and technology companies and strives to develop a “strong music tech ecosystem” in Europe.

Spotify’s Loud & Clear economics report stated that more than half of the artists who generated $10,000 on Spotify were from countries where English is not the first language. The languages that performed particularly well were German, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Korean.

In March 2024, Unesco, alongside Germany’s culture ministry, made the decision to add Berlin’s techno scene to the country’s cultural heritage list. Clubcommision Berlin tweeted that this marks “another milestone for Berlin techno producers, artists, club operators and event organizers.”

Film and acting

An actor pulls a shocked expression for a camera. This is visible in the cameras monitor where there is also a videographer.

The globally revered Berlinale Film Festival turned 74 years old this year. As usual, it was marked by protests, cementing its reputation as one of the most political arts events in the world. Featuring Lupita Nyong’o as president of the jury, the festival showcased around 200 films. The opening film was Small Things Like These, starring Cillian Murphy, and the Golden Bear for Best Film went to Dahomey by Mati Diop.

In February 2024, it was announced that there would be a new funding system for film and TV companies in Germany. This includes grants and tax incentives, and companies may also be obligated to invest 20% of their sales back into European productions, of which 70% should be German language.

An actor applies dramatic makeup around their eyes.

On a sadder note, February also saw the death of one of Germany’s most influential theatre directors, René Pollesch, who was based at the Volksbühne in Berlin. Specialising in ‘post-dramatic’ theatre, Pollesch wrote and directed over 200 plays, many of which centred on social issues such as gender identity and climate change.

Video games

A student wearing gaming headphones looks towards a computer screen.

According to Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), Germany houses the largest gaming market in Europe, with more than 49 million active gamers as of 2021. This works out as over 60% of the entire German population. The industry continues to grow, with revenues from games, games hardware, and online gaming fees increasing by 6% from 2022 to 2023.

The Ministry of Culture is planning to invest heavily into the video games sector over the course of the next few years, with €100 million going to indie and mid-level developers. This scheme began with a subsidy of €33.3 million in 2024.

At the German Computer Game Awards (DCP), Everspace 2 was named Best Game, with the horror game Ad Infinitum winning the most prizes. Four of Berlin’s indie developers won awards, including Play From Your Heart, whose debut game Lose CTRL won Best Game Design.

Join us in Berlin

At BIMM University Berlin, our legendary masterclasses give students the opportunity to learn from the very best in the business. Already this year, our film students were lucky enough to meet Harry Potter star Mark Williams, while music students connected with Moses Schneider, one of Germany’s biggest producers.

Talking about music producers, our alumnus Elias Melkersen (AKA Fig Tape), who graduated in 2022, has secured a deal with Swedish Netflix series Young Royals. His track ‘Favors’, which was created as part of his final BIMM project, is featured as part of the official soundtrack, and it can also be heard in the first episode of season three.


Want to kickstart your creative career in Germany’s booming capital? Applications are open.

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