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British Business Embassy days - Creative Content Summit

The Global Business Summit on Creative Content was held on 31 July 2012 and was a unique event focused on exploring the core theme of commercialising creativity in the international marketplace.

Presenters included David Heyman, Producer of the Harry Potter series; Michael Acton-Smith, creator of virtual pet and social networking game Moshi Monsters; screenwriters Steven Moffat and Julian Fellowes; theatre empresario Nick Allot; and business leaders from companies such as Warners, Sony, Pinewood and Spotify.

Industry leaders highlighted key trends and issues in the fashion, film, games, music, theatre and television sectors, as set out below. The Creative Services Summit on 30 July also discussed the strengths and keys to successful creativity that support innovation and creativity in any sector.

The day’s sessions can be viewed on YouTube, including the popular presentation on the magic behind the global success of Harry Potter. The Strengths of Creativity videos includes highlights from the Creative Industries reception, hosted by the Duchess of Cambridge, and a series of interviews with sector leaders.

The UK’s fashion industry is worth £21 billion to the UK economy.


  • High proportion of global fashion industry is UK-trained. When you come to London, you can attract great talent;
  • Collaborations in the fashion industry have sustained young designers;
  • It is exciting to combine technology with fashion – e.g. the collaboration between Stella McCartney’s design of the 590-piece collection for London 2012 Team GB and Adidas, which had the technology to make the outfits breathable, footwear lighter and form streamlined.


  • Films depicting the UK are responsible for attracting about one in ten overseas tourists, spending around £1.9 billion a year;
  • Harry Potter shows how one great creative moment can lead to huge jobs and investment in creative industries in UK;
  • People will now choose British films over US as break from American culture. We can bring international money into the UK, spend most of it here, not with any creative interruption, then export worldwide;
  • Thirteen out of 20 blockbusters are shot or involved with Pinewood studios in some way; it is a real pillar of the global film market.


  • Games are arguably the largest entertainment industry in the world, with games now available on multiple devices;
  • The UK produces more than a quarter of the world’s computer games.


  • Telecoms are going to be a "huge partner" for music companies with 4G;
  • Lifespan of a piece of music is longer with services like Spotify. Spotify now has 4 million paying users and some artists make the bulk of their money from it.


  • London has the biggest commercial theatre business in the world with 14 million visitors and 530 million pounds in ticket sales;
  • The Phantom of the Opera has made £5 billion worldwide – grossing more than any movie.


  • UK TV formats are so successful because:
  • The variety of channels means TV makers are stretched and have to think laterally;
  • The UK has a large creative pool;
  • UK TV producers value original ideas rather than similar, comfort zone, formats;
  • Successive governments have established rights regime that have motivated companies to get out hits all over the world;
  • The UK has a culture of creativity, innovation and risk taking;
  • Masterchef has been sold to over 200 countries and the format is produced in 35 countries. Why? Masterchef is modular, with an adaptable format and a large global production unit that travels and helps host countries adapt programmes;
  • A catalyst is crucial – e.g. Undercover Boss was offered a slot by CBS after the Superbowl final, which research showed would be the right time for the subject matter. Got 38.6 million viewers – largest ever reality show launch in US. Programme now sold to 110 countries, and format made in 15 countries;
  • You never sit down to create a world hit; you create something which you hope will be good.