Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Research Result

Brussels: The leading location for media activities in Belgium

While it is already well-known that Brussels is an important economic motor for Belgium, the city so far got not much recognition as media location compared to other capitals like London, Berlin and Paris. The Brussels Regional Government wants to change this and makes the media industry in Brussels a focal point in Brussels’ economic development policy. As data analyses from one of SMIT’s research projects, Media Clusters Brussels, show, Brussels is already the leading location for media activities in Belgium and the plans of the government can be built on observable strengths.

Media activities are highly concentrated in Brussels

The media industry creates an important contribution to the Brussels’ economy. With 1.699,57 million EUR net added value produced in 2014, the Brussels’ media industry contributes 2,4% to Brussels’ total economy (71.744,5 million EUR). The annual average growth level of the media industry in Brussels (2,5%) is higher than the overall growth levels of Brussels’ and Belgium’s economy making the industry more important by every year. There are more than 16.000 people working in Brussels’ media industry, which contributes 2,7% to the total working population of the city. The biggest sector of Brussels’ media industry is the audio-visual sector in terms of media employees (6.300) and value added produced (828,14 million EUR). This is due to several very large players in this sector. VRT alone contributes 11,8% of the total economy of the media industry in Brussels. Only 17 enterprises create around 50% of total net added value of the industry, the biggest including VRT, RTBF, RTL BELGIUM and KINEPOLIS GROUP from the audio-visual sector, ROSSEL ET CIE, VERBRUIKERS UNIE TEST and MEDIAFIN from the print sector, JC DECAUX and IP BELGIUM from the advertising sector.
This leads to Brussels’ showing a high concentration of media activities in Belgium. Brussels creates 39,0% of the total net added value of Belgium’s media industry (4.353,90 million EUR).

Want to know more about Media Clusters Brussels, its approach and findings?

Media Clusters Brussels – MCB -is a collaborative and interdisciplinary research project of the VUB, ULB and USL-B, financed under the Anticipate programme of INNOVIRIS. The research project started in 2014 and runs for 4 years. The aim is to analyse the many facets of the media industry located in the Brussels Capital Region and explore the development of clusters. Hence, this project aims at creating socio-economic value for the media industry in the Brussels Region and beyond by providing decision-makers with the in-depth knowledge regarding the media industry. The findings here-presented are part of the economic impact analysis of Brussels’ media industry. More findings and the methodology can be found in Deliverable 2.3a of the project. The Deliverable and more information on the MCB project can be found at