It looks like the music industry is going to have to get used to no longer referring to Believe as a ‘distributor’.
According to the Paris-born firm’s CEO, Denis Ladegaillerie, just 30% of Believe’s revenues this year will be derived from pure distribution deals struck with artists and labels.
The other 70%, he says, 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).
Last week, Believe executed an interesting acquisition, buying a 49% stake in Tôt ou tard, the second biggest independent label in France behind Because Music.
–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.
This isn’t the only obvious subject to ask Ladegaillerie (pictured) about in the current music biz climate, however.
Three years ago, Believe acquired US-based digital aggregation platform TuneCore, which now finds itself in direct competition with Spotify – after the Swedish companylaunched its own direct user-upload distribution tool last month.
Here, we speak to Ladegaillerie about the changing shape of Believe, the Tôt ou tard deal – and why ‘distribution’ still matters now that artists can cut out the middle man on the world’s biggest audio streaming subscription service…