Alex Kennedy believes that Believe UK can reap the benefits as the music industry pivots towards the label/artist services model.
Believe UK’s managing director (above, second from right) has spoken to Music Week in the wake of the company’s Music Week Awards win this year, where the business triumphed in the label/artist services category following a banner year in which they worked on Knucks’ breakthrough campaign and completed label deals with Hospital and Rinse.
Believe was up against major-owned opposition such as ADA, AWAL, The Orchard and Virgin Music at the event, and Kennedy believes his company’s time is now.
“The majors are ginormous businesses and are incredibly well-established, but the ecosystem is shifting a bit towards the label and artist services world, which we are completely set up to take on,” he said. “So wherever the majors work in the services [sector], we can absolutely take them on in those areas.”
Earlier this month, Believe reported that revenues increased by 17.5% year-on-year to €415.4 million in the first half of 2023.
The indie giant acquired publishing platform Sentric in March 2023, with plans to roll out the first services for selected songwriters and publishers before the end of the year as part of Believe's global publishing ambitions.
We’ve got big designs in the publishing world that we’re working on now
“We’ve got big designs in the publishing world that we’re working on now,” said Kennedy, hinting that more is to come. “It’s very exciting.”
According to its financial statement, the group will continue identifying "interesting acquisition targets but will remain highly selective in seizing opportunities".
“We’re on the same level as the Orchards, the Virgins and the ADAs of this world, which is what we’ve been striving for,” said Kennedy. “And to finally arrive is really gratifying for us. The award gave us music industry recognition in the UK to bring us up to the same level that we’re seen in France, Germany and other territories where we’re massive. Perhaps in the UK the perception has been a little bit behind where we’re at as a business. But now it's solidified in terms of the level of business we are, the success we’re having and the fact that we are a true alternative to the majors for the independent community.”
Team Believe at the Music Week Awards in May
Believe announced a raft of promotions earlier this year, solidifying its leadership team in the UK.
Malena Wolfer, director of artist services, said the company’s laser focus on their clients helps crystallise what they can offer.
“If you look at the service the artists get, that’s what’s important and there’s not much difference between what we provide and that artists get from majors,” she told Music Week. “It’s great to see artists coming out of major deals and ending up doing better than they’ve ever done with Believe. They’re big companies to be taking on, but we really want to focus on the artist's perspective, it’s really about each artist individually.”
Looking to the future Wolfer suggested that Believe will continue to strive to stay one step ahead.
"Being there for artists every step of the way is what every services company does, so it’s about us trying to push boundaries with what we can do with our marketing," she said.