Stephen King, the long-time UK MD of distribution and services company Believe, has left the firm, MBW has learned.
King (pictured) has headed up Believe’s UK office since early 2010, and additionally held the role of Chief International Officer (CIO) from 2013 to 2017.
Before joining Believe, King ran his own company, Ricochet, and was co-founder, alongside Alan McGee, of Creation Management, where King was MD from 2002 to 2008. During this period, King was also MD of McGee’s Poptones label.
A Believe spokesperson confirmed the news of King’s departure when contacted by MBW today.
They said in a statement: “Stephen King, who has been a valued colleague and partner to artists, is no longer serving as the Managing Director of our UK office. Our two office leaders are Malena Wolfer, Head of Artist Services, and Ben Rimmer, Head of Distribution. They, along with our team of managers in the UK, will continue to successfully run our local operations.”
Paris-headquartered Believe is led globally by CEO Denis Ladegaillerie. Last year, we learned that the company was turning over around $500m annually, having acquired TuneCore for an undisclosed fee in 2015.
Speaking to MBW in October last year, Ladegaillerie explained that just 30% of Believe’s 2018 revenues would be derived from pure distribution deals struck with artists and labels.
The other 70%, he said, would come from “artist services and artist development” agreements, whereby Believe invests in recording and marketing costs for artists – after which profit is typically split with the act in question.
In Q4 last year, Believe acquired a majority stake in German-born rock and metal label Nuclear Blast, while also acquiring 49% in France’s second biggest indie label, Tôt ou tard.
It also fully acquired one of the biggest independent distribution companies in Europe – Groove Attack GmbH – for an undisclosed fee.
Earlier this month, Believe partnered with Germany-based Starwatch Entertainment and Denmark-based Tigerspring to launch new ‘super-indie’ record label, Lobster.Music Business Worldwide