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EMI Music CEO: the consumer has spoken, but have we been listening?

Elio Leoni-Sceti, the CEO of EMI Music, believes that consumer-focus and innovation are the keys for creative industries to unlock successful new business models in the wake of digital.

“Britain’s creative businesses are world leaders when it comes to nurturing creative talent and working with innovative artists,” said Leoni-Sceti, “but we must complement our artists’ creativity with our own skills in innovation. That means listening to the desires and needs of consumers and delivering new products and services that they want to buy.”

His comments came as he was confirmed as a speaker at the inaugural Creativity and Business International Network (c&binet) forum, taking place on October 26th-28th.

Following Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of Vivendi, as a confirmed key note c&binet speaker, Leoni-Sceti will take part in a Q&A session addressing the relationship between creativity and the consumer, and moderated by Patience Wheatcroft, the Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief – Europe.

Leoni-Sceti continued:

“Looking at the music industry, which has become something of a bellwether for other media businesses, we have a situation where 70 per cent of music consumption is digital and yet only about 20 per cent of music company revenues are derived from digital. Music is in demand and the demand is growing all the time, but we’ve clearly lost touch with our consumers.

“I passionately believe that if we listen to our consumers, this gap will become our opportunity. I very much look forward to hearing the views of creative industry leaders at the c&binet forum and, of course, those of government who have a crucial role in creating an environment where both technology companies and content investors will thrive.”

The central focus of this year’s event will be to galvanise concrete action to support the worldwide creative economy, realising agreements between international content industry leaders and international policy makers.

The 2009 c&binet forum, ‘Nurturing Creative Content in the Digital Age’, will also discuss the most effective strategies for commercialising content and ways in which creative businesses can increase the flow of capital and talent in to the sector.

With the creative industries estimated to be worth around $1.3 trillion globally ([1]) and contributing around £60 billion a year ([2]) in Britain alone, c&binet represents a collective effort of UK government departments (DCMS and DBIS), which have provided the initial funding and support, to address some of the core issues that will impact on the sector’s future growth. C&binet is also supported by leading industry figures including Lucian Grainge, Chairman and Chief Executive, Universal Music Group International, Nicholas Coleridge of Condé Nast International, Nancy Tellem of CBS Paramount Television and J Allard of Microsoft.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. C&binet, the creativity and business international network, is a global voice for the creative industries. Designed to champion the sector and focus on its big issues, the network brings together business, governments and creative talent for the first time.

It aims to support the industries’ continued growth by promoting the flow of funds between the creative and financial sectors, encouraging different parts of the creative economy to share ideas, new business models and success stories, and helping the next generation of creative entrepreneurs.

2. The UK government currently leads c&binet with the ambition that it will become a self-funding network.

3. An elite group of 25 ambassadors is the first step towards this. Drawn from leading creative and financial organisations, the group includes Lucian Grainge, Chairman and Chief Executive, Universal Music Group International, Nicholas Coleridge of Condé Nast and J Allard of Microsoft. They’re helping to shape the c&binet agenda and promote new talent.

5. For more information about c&binet, please go to http://www.cabinetforum.org

6. C&binet was formally launched in October 2008 and the first main c&binet event will be on 26-28 October 2009 at The Grove in Hertfordshire.

[1] UNESCO / World Bank figures
[2] http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/CreativeBritain-introduction.pdf

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