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

MUMBAI: EMI Music CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti 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 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," said Leoni-Sceti.

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

Following Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy, 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 added, "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 and contributing around £60 billion a year 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.