French company Believe is commonly known as a digital music distributor... but it seems we'll have to adjust our perception in the near future.
Last week, indeed, Believe bought a 49% stake in Tôt ou tard, the second biggest independent label in France behind Because Music (according to "Music Business Worldwide" the pricetag paid to Tôt ou tard owner Wagram Music would have cost Believe a seven-figure sum). Tôt ou tard – whose most famous signings include French singer/songwriters like Vianney, Vincent Delerm and ShakaPonk – is not just a label: it also operates across live booking, recorded music and publishing. Moreover, three years ago, Believe acquired US-based digital aggregation platform TuneCore, which now finds itself in direct competition with Spotify – after the Swedish company launched its own direct user-upload distribution tool last month.
In this landscape, Paris-born Believe’s CEO, Denis Ladegaillerie, in an interview, explained that just 30% of Believe’s revenues this year will be derived from pure distribution deals struck with artists and labels. The other 70% will 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 (who also keeps hold of their copyrights).
You can read the full interview here.
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