Believe and WMG under the spotlight over business in Russia


A number of global music companies have closed their offices in Russia and stopped doing business there since the invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. However, the Guardian has published an investigation into whether these pullouts have been as comprehensive as expected, with WMG and Believe under the spotlight.

The former for an email sent by an executive from the Russian division of ADA, its distribution and services arm, shortly after WMG suspended its operations in Russia in March. The email was drumming up business, but in a statement, WMG confirmed that “it should not have been sent”. The label added that it is “investigating what happened and we’ve also reiterated the rules of our suspension to our local team”.

As for Believe, the Guardian focuses on an email sent by its Russian boss with a new deal for a local label. However, in this case Believe’s response was a defence, saying that since the label was an existing partner, it was not breaking its promise to avoid new clients in Russia. “Believe is maintaining all its operations in Russia in order to support its artists, labels and protect its people’s safety as well as ensure access to music production and distribution,” said the company’s statement.

Written by: Stuart Dredge