Mastering digital change
Hamburg’s media and digital industries
Hamburg is a media city with a great tradition: leading political magazines, tabloid newspapers, weekly magazines and Germany’s leading television news were all created in Hamburg. Yet the city continues to excel not only in the realms of journalism, but also in the spheres of music and film, as well as the advertising and PR industries. For more than two decades, Hamburg has also been a major location for innovative businesses in the fields of online, software and games.
No other German city records such a high number of relevant and profitable branches of the media industry as Hamburg. As a “city of content”, Hamburg is therefore committed to play its role in shaping the transformation of the media and digital industries. In Hamburg, innovative business models fall on fertile ground and are enriched with great creativity and a keen commercial spirit.
Hamburg as a media and digital location
Outstanding personalities such as Rudolf Augstein, Heinrich Bauer, Gerd Bucerius, John Jahr and Axel Springer founded their publishing houses in Hamburg and laid the foundation for Hamburg's rise to become Germany’s leading media location.
When it comes to economic power and the number of employees, the print media are doing better than commonly assumed – despite the ongoing trend towards digitisation: around 25,000 employees are working in this sector. Nearly three quarters of Germany’s 25 top circulation magazines are produced in Hamburg. About 6,000 of the approximately 50,000 permanently employed journalists and editors in Germany work in Hamburg.
With 14,500 employees, film and television productions as well as major radio and television broadcasters also take a leading position in Hamburg.
With 3,500 employees, music publishers, record companies as well as independent composers and musicians form a rather small and yet very important segment of the German music industry: Hamburg is home to many small independent labels as well as several major labels.
With a staff of 19,000 employed in the segment, Hamburg is one of Germany’s major locations for advertising, PR and market research. For years Hamburg agencies have been taking top places in creative rankings, e.g. in the creative competition of the Art Directors Club (ADC) and at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
Hamburg is also well established in the field of specialised agencies: numerous specialists have developed into key players – whether as a PR or dialogue marketing agency, as an event organiser or as a consultancy for branding and strategic brand management. In addition, Hamburg is now regarded as the inofficial capital of opinion, trend and market research with around 1,800 people employed in the segment.
The Hanseatic City of Hamburg is the leading games location in Germany. The number of employees in Hamburg’s games industry has risen to over 4,500 in 2015. The segment now comprises more than 150 companies. Many international industry leaders operate out of Hamburg. Hamburg’s three major online game companies reach more than 760 million registered users worldwide.
In all of these segments, IT is the central pacesetter and driving force in the digital transformation. With about 9,000 companies and more than 50,000 employees, the IT industry is an important economic factor for Hamburg. Consulting companies and service providers make up the largest share with nearly 50 percent of all of Hamburg’s IT businesses. More than 3,000 companies in software development and design account for almost one third of the total industry.
Dynamics through digitisation
Hamburg is also a successful location for digital media. Hamburg’s media companies have been achieving top scores in online coverage rankings for years. Several major online marketers are located in Hamburg, among them G+J e|MS, SPIEGEL QC, Bauer Advertising and WerbeWeischer, leading international operators of social networks and portals, as well as video portals and Google, the world's major search engine provider with its German head office. In addition, many exciting and award-winning start-ups contribute with their ideas and services to developing Hamburg as a digital location. Smaato, the winner of the Startup and Innovation Award of the German American Business Association is just one of many examples.
Strong networks in Hamburg
Hamburg offers a wide variety of professional networks in the media and digital industries. These include first and foremost the Hamburg@work association as well as networks such as Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein GmbH, hamburgunddesign, the Kreativgesellschaft Hamburg, the Interessengemeinschaft Hamburger Musikwirtschaft (IHM), and the RockCity association. Further industry-specific networks include e.g. Vocer.org for journalists and HamburgStartups for the start-up scene, as well as the Digital Media Women network, which campaigns for empowering women in the media industries.
When it comes to strengthening networking activities between players and stakeholders from the digital industry, events play an important role as a driving force with high networking potential. The calendar of events of Hamburg’s media and digital industries includes numerous important events, among them the award ceremonies of the Deutscher Radiopreis and the Goldene Kamera, the ADC Festival, the LeadAwards, the Henri Nannen Preis, the Hamburger Mediendialog, the Reeperbahn Festival, the scoopcamp, the Webfuture Award, the new TV-Kongress, the Social Media Week Hamburg, the d3con conference, the Digital Media Conference, the Hamburger IT-Strategietage, the code.talks conference, the solutions.hamburg convention, the Online Marketing Rockstars, die Klappe, the HANS Musikpreis as well as the Filmfest Hamburg.
All eyes on the future: Hamburg as a centre of education
Content managers, data journalists, developers: traditional media skills are increasingly complemented by digital skills as requirements continue to evolve. Hamburg as a place of study and training responded to these requirements at an early stage. Thus Hamburg’s established academic training centres (see list on the right) prepare their students for the challenges and opportunities of the digital transformation. In addition to the University of Hamburg, the MedienCampus Finkenau promotes interdisciplinary exchange between the Hamburg Media School, the TIDE education channel, the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK), the Miami Ad School and the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW). To an increasing extent, journalists and copywriters are being trained in the “digital craft” – e.g. at the Henri Nannen School, at the Akademie für Publizistik, at numerous private academies and universities such as the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, or via an in-service scheme at the Texterschmiede. Graphic designers are trained in visual communication at the Technische Kunstschule Hamburg and at the Freie Schule für Gestaltung. Moreover, Hamburg is home to numerous media enterprises that offer apprenticeships, internships and student jobs in the fields of media and IT. All of these institutions ensure state-of-the-art practical training for young talent.