Chairman, Beggars Group


Managing director, Beggars Group China

Beggars Group, led by founder/chairman Martin Mills, has long been the unofficial standard-bearer for ambitious international expansion among independent labels. Comprising four imprints—4AD, XL, Matador and Rough Trade—Beggars, co-headquartered in London and New York, operates out of 16 countries, including Australia, Sweden, Japan—and, most recently, China, where market specialist Ed Peto is helping the organization devise new market strategies. “We’re working to establish our brand and develop perception and knowledge of our artists and labels in an environment that’s still very challenging,” Mills says of the nation with the world’s second-largest economy. “But you have to believe that a profitable market will emerge when the likes of Spotify, Rdio and other ‘freemium’ models move in.” The steady expansion of digital services, into China as well as the third world, is a trend that Mills has his eye on for 2014 and beyond. “I see those markets bringing real value that is currently almost entirely untapped—they’ll become a significant part of the income flow for all of us.” —Reggie Ugwu