The second wave of artist management - finding the perfect story

Boris Lehfeld, Managing Director, 2nd Wave

1. What is the strength of Berlin as games location?

There are only a few other places in the world where so much creativity comes together as in Berlin. That’s the case for all industries and rapidly increasing for the games industry as well. More and more studios are being established and more and more events are taking place where developers can exchange ideas. According to a study by the Hamburg Games School, there were almost 140 games companies in Berlin in 2018 and this number will certainly and significantly exceeded in 2019.

In addition to the mutual exchange and the great networking within the community, the funding opportunities are also improving more and more: again and again we learn that indie developers are moving to Berlin to take advantage of the regional funding opportunities.

One of Berlin's great strengths, of course, is that everyone would like to live here - so it doesn't take any persuasion to convince potential employees to settle in Berlin.

All of the above combined is the strength of Berlin as a location within the industry and helps extremely to stop losing the battle for the most creative minds against foreign studios. And that‘s crucial in order to be able to develop games with international appeal in Germany as well.

2. How did you come up with the idea to start 2nd Wave? Why did you choose Berlin as your main location?

The idea for 2nd Wave came to my mind through inspiring discussions with content creators and own market observation: Again and again it turned out that both artists and companies were dissatisfied with the way they were treated and how their needs and demands were taken into account. Consequently I thoroughly analysed what an artist management has to do differently in order to achieve lasting success in the market - and that's exactly what my team and I are now doing on a daily basis.

2nd Wave has a second office in Cologne, but Berlin has been our main location from the very beginning. We profit enormously from the local creative industry, numerous clients are also located in Berlin and despite numerous criticisms (yes, we are lookin at you, BER) travelling to and from Berlin is convenient enough so that trips to customers or from clients are also easy. And last but not least: the core team of 2nd Wave has already been living in Berlin for several years now.

3. What distinguishes 2nd Wave from other influencer marketing agencies?

We are the second generation of artists to whom our name alludes. Now that the gold-rush mood has passed the market and the wheat is increasingly separating from the chaff, both artists and customers are questioning what makes sense at all: Are price and performance right, do we like the general cooperation and do we even feel taken seriously? 

2nd Wave therefore sees itself as a real partner: Our artists are not just products for us, but real characters. Therefore we attach great importance to the fact that the artists fit to us and that we can speak plainly at any time. And it's the same with our customers: we don't see them as moneybags with two eyes, but as partners with whom we pursue a common goal - and that means wide-ranging and accurate campaigns that fit both the brand and the artist. Ultimately, influencer marketing is all about combining entertainment with brand communication. This only works if the combination of brand and product, the right artist and the perfect story is right. And we also master this combination so well because we have a perfect understanding of how our artists tick and how brands work.

Because only when the artists are really convinced of the concept and the product does their passion and credibility transfer to the content. Otherwise, we always prefer to cancel inquiries in case of doubt. 

4. Influencer marketing is a quite new field of work. How do you think it will evolve in the next years? Is Berlin the place to be for this or what would need to change for it to be that?

The market will become more and more professional and specialized - in comparison to other areas it’s still in the early stages of development. Currently, the market for influencer marketing is still growing by 20 to 30 percent per year and the production of moving images is becoming increasingly important. In addition, the importance of live content for platforms like Twitch is constantly growing.

The creative industry is of course particularly strong in Berlin, so that other popular locations such as Cologne and Hamburg are facing ever greater competition as more and more influencer agencies settle in Berlin or new ones are established here. In order to strengthen and accelerate this trend even further, we need more unbureaucratic and simple funding opportunities and even stronger support for business start-ups.

5. What are you planning for the future of 2nd Wave?

Our (almost accomplished) goal for the future is to become a 360° agency with full service, where this description is not just a phrase from the bullshit bingo: Together with experts from these fields, we have founded an agency for consulting, content, creation and conception (further information: as well as a fashion company and a production company. In addition we are heavily involved in an event organizer with which we can also setup and execute huge live events with up to 10.000 visitors (further information:

In this way, we can offer our clients a truly all-encompassing service that exceeds all their needs and requirements.


Thank you, Boris!