© Dr. Carsten Brosda Senatskanzlei

"We Will Benefit From Hamburg's Particular Structure"

Dr Carsten Brosda, Commissioner of the Senate of Hamburg for Media, reflects on the digital transformation of the media industry

Digital transformation is the hot topic of today’s media discussion. Hamburg News asked Dr Carsten Brosda, Commissioner of the Senate of Hamburg for Media: “How is Hamburg’s media industry preparing the digital transformation?”

Hamburg News: The digital transformation is changing the media and creative industries more than any other economic sector. What are the major challenges you notice?

Carsten Brosda: I basically notice three distinctive changes. First of all, the question of the future revenue models for creative media content fit for digital distribution will have to be solved. Secondly, the increasing media use on mobile device provides a challenge for the provision of content. And thirdly, the new digital possibilities make users more active and autonomous. Thus, also contributing content, the traditional role of media as sole provider of content will be lost.”

Hamburg News: How do Hamburg’s media companies faces these challenges? And where will they have to catch up?

Carsten Brosda: Above all, the question will be: how do you design the interfaces between technology and content? Here in Hamburg, there are many good answers for this and we are in constant contact with the companies active in Hamburg. I believe that we are particularly successful in Hamburg, when we merge the expertise of already successful businesses with the creative ideas of young start-ups. To achieve this, we need economic ecosystems that will drive companies forward while mutually exchanging and networking. These ecosystems will transcend existing industry barriers. When looking, for instance, at digital payment, content providers could learn from the games industry, which has been very successful in this field for years. Digitisation will push ahead the convergence even further. Due to the unique structure of the business location Hamburg, we can particularly benefit from this.”

Hamburg News: How can the city assist companies in these important questions?

Carsten Brosda: We consider media and IT as a separate economic clusters. In Hamburg, a total of more than 110,000 people are employed in these sectors. Also on an international scale, Hamburg is thus a leading centre of media, IT, and creative industries. As a city, we have to create a framework for them. On the one hand, we have to actively advance and adjust the media regulation in Germany’s state laws. On the other hand, we have to create and provide creative spaces where ideas are born, developed into business models and placed on the market.

Hamburg News: What does that mean in practical terms?

Carsten Brosda: A good example is our location initiative nextMedia.Hamburg. It provides co-working spaces and premises for companies plus networking, extensive support, and opportunities to develop sustainable business models. Many well-known companies have recognised its value and support the initiative. This has led to, for example, the launch of the nextMedia Accelarator, a programme custom-tailored for start-ups in the media sector. Cloud solutions, innovative news apps and other new digital services have thus been initiated and supported – fast and maneuverable services complementing the offers of large media companies. Moreover, nextMedia.Hamburg closely connects universities, as cross-divisional transfer of knowledge is also a key objective.

Technology is the basis and catalyst for innovation and sustainable business models in the field of media and creative industries. We have already achieved a lot of attention at international events such as the South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin (USA). In Hamburg, we are predestined for correspondingly successful ecosystems: as a content city with several centuries of merchant tradition prospering in the light of new technologies. If we do not create the transformation, who else will do it?

*_Interview: Karolin Köcher_*/_*him*_

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