© Tom Thiele

A creative engine: Leipzig’s IT and media industries

The IT and media industries are part of Leipzig’s IT, Media and Creative Industries cluster, which comprises seven sub-sectors:
  • information and communication technologies,
  • printing and publishing,
  • broadcasting and film,
  • arts and music,
  • advertising and PR,
  • architecture and design, and
  • trade shows and services.
Leipzig is home to renowned agencies, companies, start-ups, educational institutions and networks in the fields of information and communication technology (ICT), broadcasting and film. Together, they make the city an attractive location for conferences, congresses and other industry meetings in the sub-cluster.

We profile some of the key players in the IT and media industries that underpin the strength of this sector in Leipzig.

Leipzig-based IT and media companies: Beacons for a strong business location

Leipzig is home to major media production, software development and networking companies. This makes the city an important location for many creative professionals – Leipzig is a centre of knowledge, ingenuity and expertise for a diverse IT and media landscape.

MDR: Media titan of central Germany

Based in Leipzig, the regional public broadcaster Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) is the largest media organisation in central Germany. MDR reaches around 6.5 million people in the region with a wide range of public service content on TV, radio, online and social media.
MDR is a producer of formats and programmes that play a key role in the German media landscape. These include the ad-free children’s channel Ki.KA and the cultural platform ARD Kultur. The lunchtime programmes of ARD and ZDF and the popular ARD magazine programme “Brisant” are also produced in the Saxon media city of Leipzig.
In addition, MDR offers high-quality reporting for renowned news and political programmes such as “Tagesschau”, “Tagesthemen” and the ARD political magazine “Fakt”.

Besides the daily news programmes, MDR also produces other series that have been part of German media culture for decades: crime series such as “Tatort” and “Polizeiruf 110” are produced in Leipzig, as is Germany’s most successful hospital soap, “In aller Freundschaft”.

media city leipzig is located in the immediate vicinity of the MDR headquarters and is home to around 90 companies from the film, television, radio and print media sectors – an impressive pool of creativity and expertise in Leipzig’s media industry.

Appsfactory: Leipzig’s most successful multimedia agency

With its vast experience, Appsfactory (AF) is one of Europe’s most respected multimedia agencies. It was founded in Leipzig in 2009.
The services offered by Germany’s leading agency range from digital consulting, design and product development to managed services and quality assurance. AF has extensive expertise in the areas of mobility, medical and healthcare technology, media and entertainment, public administration, real estate and proptech as well as AI, energy and fintech.

As an IT and media centre, Leipzig is regarded as the boomtown of artificial intelligence (AI) in Germany. Appsfactory also places special emphasis on implementing AI and machine learning (ML). As a strong supporter of AI Monday in Leipzig, which is an important networking event that brings together AI experts, AI enthusiasts, start-ups and global companies, AF is playing a key role in the promotion of AI and ML in the region. In this way, the agency helps to bridge the gap between the technology and business communities.

Thanks to its expertise and international reputation, AF now boasts an impressive track record of over 700 successful projects that have reached more than 67 million people.

Education as a sustainable boost for the cluster location

Educational institutions are an important part of the IT and media cluster in Leipzig. With innovative and modern degree programmes in the IT and media sector, Leipzig trains highly qualified specialists and promotes research and development in the industry.

With companies and educational institutions so close together, new technologies are emerging which, together with the next generation of skilled workers, will continue to strengthen Leipzig as a media hub in the future.

Leipzig School of Media

With its seminars and online courses, the Leipzig School of Media supports people in their professional development. The focus is on digitalisation and the changes it is bringing to the marketing, media and communications industries.

Teaching focuses on the impact of the digital revolution on society, the economy and the media, and how to make the most of the opportunities it offers.

The Leipzig School of Media not only caters to the needs of individual learners, but also explicitly to those of companies in the field of digitalisation.

Macromedia University of Applied Sciences

The private Macromedia University of Applied Sciences has several campuses in Germany, including one in Leipzig. Students can choose from a wide range of programmes in media, management and communications, digital technologies, coding and design, sport, psychology, gaming and journalism.

The curriculum focuses on media, coding and design – always with an eye to how digital is revolutionising society and the world of work. The programmes aim to integrate international research to promote the transfer of knowledge to industry.

The Leipzig-based university is also a member of the Galileo Global Education network. The network consists of 45 universities and academies in 10 countries with nearly 120,000 students worldwide. Leipzig’s Macromedia University of Applied Sciences thus has excellent connections.

University of Leipzig

The Media and Communication Studies programmes at the renowned University of Leipzig equip graduates with a sound academic understanding of how current technological developments are transforming communication, media, organisations and society at large. This prepares them for careers that are at the heart of modern society.

Courses such as Digital Humanities combine traditional humanities with the digital world and computer science. The aim is to apply computer science approaches to problems in the classical humanities.

Leipzig as an IT and media hotspot: The most important events

Many events are organised in Leipzig to strengthen the IT and media sub-cluster. This is an opportunity for people from all over the world to see for themselves the strength of Leipzig as a location, which in turn increases and consolidates the industry’s awareness of Leipzig as an IT and media centre.

One of these events is the Central and Eastern Europe Game Studies Conference, which took place in Leipzig for the first time in 2023. This European conference is an important platform for researchers and experts from the video game industry to share ideas and research findings. The event underlines Leipzig’s position as a German centre of the gaming industry.

Medientage Mitteldeutschland is a two-day networking event for media professionals and companies at Leipzig’s Baumwollspinnerei. From 17 to 18 April 2024, participants can look forward to international speakers and interactive formats that will address the pressing issues facing the media industry, explore new perspectives and provide fresh inspiration.

The EUROPEAN CREATOR’S LAB (EUCL) took place for the second time in Leipzig in 2023, bringing together experienced creators and producers from the European VR and XR scene. EUCL is a forward-looking event that provides a space for immersive projects, experimentation and prototype development in Leipzig. It is open to people with or without their own projects, and taking part is an exciting learning opportunity.

Cluster IT Mitteldeutschland e. V.: Advancing the cause through networking

Thanks to its central location and excellent infrastructure, Leipzig plays a key role when it comes to networking for the IT and media industries.

One important network is Cluster IT Mitteldeutschland e. V., which brings together around 70 well-known large and young companies, partners, institutions and universities in the field of information and communication technology.

The network focuses on issues such as social change and promotes knowledge, innovation and exchange. This in turn creates a contemporary and constructive dialogue between business, politics, education and research.

Its main objective is to raise the profile of the individual members and to connect them with each other in order to channel all of the stakeholders’ knowledge, experience and innovative power. This is why the recruitment of new qualified ICT specialists is a top priority.
The IT and media industries, with their many areas of expertise, are one of the reasons why the conference calendar in Leipzig is so full. Other industry clusters play an equally important role alongside this sub-cluster. Find out about other key industries in Leipzig here.


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