Denis Ladegaillerie is the Founder and CEO of Paris-headquartered distribution and services company Believe.
He co-founded the company in 2005.
Denis Ladegaillerie: Career beginnings
Denis Ladegaillerie passed the New York Bar in 1997 and started his career as Business Lawyer at Shearman & Sterling, where he practiced until 2000.
Ladegaillerie then joined the financial department of Vivendi at the beginning of 2000 to take care of the restructuring of the portfolio of companies in the internet sector of the group. He managed the internet and new media activities for Vivendi Universal in the US, as Chief Strategy and Financial Officer for two and a half years. There, he managed the restructuring and development of the first digital music service (eMusic), the first music social networking site (MP3.com), the leading mobile media distributor (Moviso / Infospace Mobile), as well as Rollingstone.com.
Denis Ladegaillerie: Company founder
In 2005, Denis Ladegaillerie returned to France and founded Believe, a global digital music distribution and service provider for independent artists and labels. Believe now has more than 1,200 employees in 44 countries.
Believe is part of the Next40, a list of most promising French start-ups collated in 2019, and recently won the Europe Allstar 2019 Company of the Year and the Grand Prix of France 2020 Future Unicorns.
Denis Ladegaillerie: Professional philosophy
Speaking to MBW in 2020, Ladegaillerie said: “Our position on YouTube has not changed one bit: there is no ‘value gap’. Period. You can only believe there’s a value gap if you also think that YouTube is cannibalising paid subscription. But we have plenty of countries now that are moving into maturity on paid subscriptions, the UK being one of them, plus Australia and Scandinavia – and they’re all countries where YouTube exists.”
He added: “My own conclusion is that ad-supported is the best way to monetize music video at this point; people just are not willing to pay for an ‘online MTV’ like they did on cable. So that’s 50% of the revenues coming from YouTube for the music industry. The other 50% are from UGC, using music like TikTok is now doing. And that business – essentially, techpowered sync licensing at scale – was not only not monetized by YouTube, it didn’t exist before YouTube.”
“So rather than a ‘value gap’, YouTube has actually created sources of revenues that the music industry was not capturing before.”
Denis Ladegaillerie in 2020
Music Business Worldwide