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Content and Multimedia

Lady reading red book © ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA

© ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA

Tradition Meets Innovation – this is the best way of describing Austria's multi-faceted content and multimedia industry. This area stretches from literature and publishing through to the multimedia, software and internet industries, along with the many large and the numerous 'micro' companies who provide innovative services.

Content:

Tradition and Innovation

The comprehensive history of Austrian literature is a good example of the long tradition of the content industry. Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Ödön von Horváth, Robert Musil, the list of remarkable Austrian writers goes on and on.

Austrian post-war literature was led by the new impulses of the 'Vienna Group' such as H.C. Artmann and Friedrich Achleitner. Austrian dramatists have also made their mark, with leading lights such as Thomas Bernhard or Elfriede Jelinek, who was recently awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Innovation within the Austrian content and multimedia industry can be easily observed in the rapidly growing branch of electronic media. Austria's e-content industry has proved itself as a dynamic contributor to the home-grown creative industry.

Sectors and Structures

With the wide scope of the Austrian content and multimedia industries, it is helpful to distinguish between the traditional content industry and the e-content sector.

Traditional content industry:

  • Literature
  • Publishing
  • Print media

E-content sector:

  • Multimedia
  • Software
  • Gaming industry
  • Internet industry

The Austrian literature and print sector impresses through its wide variety of themes and topics, while structurally it is defined by relatively clear models in comparison to the newer sectors of the content industry. The creative process and chain begins with the creative output of the writer, followed by the organisational skills of the publishing house, the production by the printer and finally selling to the public, arranged by the publisher with the bookshops and retailers.

In contrast to the traditional content industry, the content in the multimedia sector is transported digitally. The electronic sector of the Austrian content and multimedia industries is varied, heterogenous and hard to classify. The borders of design or advertising are quite fluid. The e-content and multimedia industries are often classified as a sub-branch of the IT industry, positioned within the software segment.

The IT industry has experienced stagnation over the last few years after the market boom in the 1990s. The Austrian creative industry in the IT sector has managed to buck the overall trend, with multimedia in particular continuing to grow. The dynamic gaming and software sectors have been especially successful for creative output. The creative potential of the Austrian software and multimedia industries has gained international recognition.

Literature, Publishing and Print Media

Austria's Writers' Scene

Artistic production - the most creative part of the traditional content industry - continues to develop dynamically. The Austrian literature scene has seen a pleasing rise of around 30% in the number of authors involved. This Austrian phenomenon can be accounted for by the 'revival' of traditional books.

Austria's young authors are constantly able to celebrate their successes at international book fairs. Acclaimed authors of Austrian modern literature include Daniel Kehlmann, Wolf Haas, Daniel Glattauer and Walter Kappacher among others.

The Austrian Literature House (German only) provides a comprehensive database of Austrian literature from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Publishing

Austria's creative industry includes around 1000 publishing houses who often work together on certain projects, not least in order to be better placed to compete on the large German market. The Austrian publishing houses publish around 5000 books annually, acting as the go-between for the authors and retailers. Around half of the publications are presented in Vienna, the most significant location in Austria.

Here is a selection of key Austrian publishers:

Print Media

The concentration of regular newspaper publishers on the Austrian market is internationally unparalleled. The daily news sector is dominated by five publishers:

Austria's cultural media sector is considerably more heterogenous and also offers regular subject-specific publications for different branches of the creative industry.

Multimedia und E-Content

The electronic sector of the Austrian content and multimedia industries is varied, heterogenous and hard to classify. The borders of design or advertising are quite fluid. The e-content and multimedia industries are often classified as a sub-branch of the IT industry, positioned within the software segment. This encompasses:

  • Multimedia
  • Software
  • Gaming industry
  • Internet and Mobile Telephony

In contrast to the traditional content industry, content is digitally transported in the multimedia sector. Many Austrian companies operating in the multimedia market offer the production and layout of multimedia services with a creative and artistic focus. 

Multimedia

The creative segment of multimedia includes activities from companies who focus on cultural and creative design and programming services. This creative segment accounts for around 10% of software products and services and around 1% of the whole IT market.

The creative part of the IT sector continues to show strong growth, especially the multimedia sector,as well as the application of content on mobile platforms.

The platform Creativespace (German only) offers an overview of the varied services and gives details of some established providers.

Vienna is the most important location for the multimedia and e-content industry in Austria, thanks to its economic infrastructure and highly qualified workforce.  In the west of Austria multimedia providers are involved in tourism.

Software

The global trends in the development of software and the high market concentration have meant that new market challengers must be prepared to compete with huge software producers. It is also easier for large software producers to grow, on the principle that the more consumers already use a software package, the easier it is for individuals to use.

The Austrian market is dominated by international producers when measured in terms of turnover. Domestic software companies are mostly specialised in niche markets - Austria is, for example, well-established in the whole eastern european market for banking software through providers such as s IT Solutions or Raiffeiseninformatik.

You can find an overview of Austria's software producers on the websites of Computerwelt (German only) or http://www.top1001.at . The internet portal of the IT magazine Monitor (German only) offers detailed information about the Austrian software scene. Companies which offer solutions for open source systems can be found at  Open Source Experts (German only) .

Gaming Industry

The gaming market is divided into 3 distinct segments:

  • Power Gaming:
    These are games for a relatively small consumer group, one which already has the necessary hardware, technical know-how and sufficient time available.
  • Games consoles:
    The games console segment is dominated by 3 international providers. Due to this high concentration also in Austria only minimal changes can be expected in the future.
  • Casual Gaming:
    In contrast to Power Gaming, this market is for consumers who do not have complex hardware available and are looking for an easily accessible gaming experience. Casual Gaming products are used via internet or mobile technology. Due to the ease of access the target group for this market is also growing in Austria.

Internet and Mobile Telephony

The Austrian market provides an excellent environment for internet and mobile telephony providers. Austria is among the top countries in Europe with regard to internet access and exceptional mobile network coverage.
The ISPA organises regular events and represents the interests of internet service providers.

In"Quartier Digitaler Kultur" (German only) in the Vienna 'Museumsquartier' you can find numerous network initiatives such as 'quintessenz' (German only) or 'Funkfeuer' (German only) as well as an exhibition of the ARS Electronica Center.

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