“Unlike the other large independents in France, Believe has so far shown no willingness to contribute data to the French market,” said the CEO of SNEP. Alexandre lasch recount Billboard. “It’s a situation we tried to avoid, and it certainly wasn’t an easy decision to make.”
To establish its half-yearly and annual market reports, SNEP receives audited sales data from the three major labels, as well as from the main labels and independent distributors in France.
Believe is by far the biggest independent music distributor in France. But despite repeated requests from SNEP, the distributor has not submitted national sales data to the organization since late 2018, and it is the only major music company that does not regularly submit financial figures, SNEP said. (The only other holdouts are low-turnover businesses which can be classified as micro-businesses.)
Believe declined to be interviewed and did not respond to Billboard‘s written questions. In a statement, the company said it was “surprised to learn” that SNEP needed its data for its market report and confirmed that it had not provided figures to the organization since ” in recent years, and that has never been a problem. “
Lasch dismisses Believe’s claim that he was surprised. He says Believe’s lack of sales data in its financial reports is “particularly problematic” this year, as SNEP recently partnered with UK sales tracking firm The Official Charts Company to compile its market reports. This has led to methodological changes which require “greater cooperation” from labels and distributors.
Founded in 2005, Believe provides a range of services to independent artists and labels, including distribution on streaming platforms, digital marketing and synchronization services. Its brands include New York-based platform TuneCore, Parisian label and publisher Naïve, rock label Nuclear Blast, and German distributor Groove Attack.
In June, Believe launched its initial public offering (IPO) on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, raising 300 million euros ($ 365.4 million) – up to 330 million ($ 402.9 million) with over-allotment – with an initial market valuation of approximately € 1.9 billion ($ 2.3 billion).
On Wednesday September 15, Believe published its half-year financial results for the six-month period ended June 30, showing group revenue of 260 million euros ($ 306 million), up 33% from at the same period the previous year. Although the report breaks down revenue by geographic region – including a 21% increase in revenue in France, totaling 43 million euros ($ 50 million) in the first half of 2021 – SNEP says Believe’s figures are ” aggregate data ”for the company’s global operations. and do not meet its national criteria.
“They do not allow us to follow the evolution of the French market segment by segment”, specifies Lasch. “If we can’t agree, there is also a risk [that we can’t produce] annual figures, but we are continuing our efforts in parallel with the Official Charts Company to avoid such a situation.
Believe says she is open to discussing the matter with the SNEP and “is always ready to participate in the production of market data and artist rankings when produced in an independent, honest and transparent manner.”
The SNEP says it has not heard from the organization since the dispute was made public on Tuesday.