Over the last two decades the large metropolitan regions in Spain have been faced with the challenges of increased competition and delocalisation of activities. Thus, promoting the creative economy has emerged as a key strategy for local governments in these areas. This article evaluates current theoretical debate through the analysis of the Madrid Metropolitan Region, which contains the largest concentration of creative industries in Spain. More specifically, it examines the importance of these industries for the construction of what is hoped to become a global city. To this end, the weight and spatial distribution of the creative sectors is analysed and the main strategies and actors involved are presented. The results suggest that Madrid is still far from building a competitive creative metropolitan region and that governance relations represent a significant obstacle to reaching this goal.