×

Sony Music Expands Distribution Reach; Acquires French Indie Believe, TuneCore

Sony Music is continuing to expand its distribution portfolio, entering into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in France-based Believe Distribution Service for a price between $355 and $444 million, according to a report in Nikkei business daily, and confirmed to Variety by a source.

Sony already owns The Orchard, the 20-year-old music and video distribution firm, which it bought fully in 2015, acquiring the 49% it didn’t take ownership of during its initial investment in 2012, and also houses RED, Sony’s sales and marketing division, which operates on behalf of several dozen labels.

Believe was founded in Paris in 2004 by Denis Ladegaillerie as a worldwide online distribution and services arm and an in-house record label. With 32 offices in 16 territories, the company’s clients include Scorpio Music, Kitsune, Chinese Man Records, Fargo, Baco Records, Afrique Caraibes Productions and Yellow. Its website claims it offers “full music distribution software for artists and labels,” with 420 “experts” on its team. In addition to distribution, the company offers trade marketing, video services, sync services and neighboring rights.

Believe acquired TuneCore, the ahead-of-its-time platform that streamlines and facilitates digital distribution for rights-holders big and small, in April 2015, substantially increasing its worldwide market share and boosting annual revenue to $250 million. Two months later, Spotify investor TCV led a $60 million infusion in the company.

Ladegaillerie told Music Business Worldwide earlier this year that the company was not for sale. “Believe has been profitable for six years, we don’t need [more] cash to support and develop the business,” though he did go on to say, “If we get an offer that we can’t refuse tomorrow, like anyone else, we would consider it, but it’s not been the case so far.”

Last October, Believe took control of French indie distributor and label Naïve. The Sony-Believe transaction is expected to close later this year.

Sony looks to be ramping up a buying spree, with Sony/ATV Music Publishing also expected to acquire the remainder of EMI Music Publishing that it administers but doesn’t own, as reported in Variety.

 

More Music

  • Radiohead - Thom YorkeRadiohead in concert

    Radiohead’s Thom Yorke to Release Solo Album Accompanied by Paul Thomas Anderson Film

    Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s new solo studio album, “Anima,” will be released digitally on June 27 on XL Recordings, he announced today. The album’s digital release will be accompanied by a “one-reeler,” also entitled “Anima,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (“Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “There Will Be Blood”) and set to three tracks from the new [...]

  • Sub Pop Cofounder Jonathan Poneman Talks

    Sub Pop Cofounder Jonathan Poneman Talks Legacy and Lifetime Achievement Award

    In its early days, Sub Pop seemed like one of the last record companies on earth that would survive, let alone remain vital, for more than 30 years. They brought Nirvana and Soundgarden to the world, but seemed destined to be forever typecast as the ground zero of grunge, a rock genre that shook the [...]

  • Arnaud de Puyfontaine

    Universal Music Fire Scandal Is 'Just Noise,' Says Vivendi's Arnaud de Puyfontaine

    Backing up comments made yesterday by Yannick Bolloré, CEO of Havas and chairman of Vivendi, Universal Music Group’s corporate parent, Vivendi CEO and chairman of the management board Arnaud de Puyfontaine tells Variety the sale of 50% of the world’s largest music company is moving along as planned and that the recent controversy surrounding a [...]

  • Philippe Zdar

    Cassius Co-Founder Philippe 'Zdar' Cerboneschi Dies in Accidental Fall

    Philippe “Zdar” Cerboneschi, one of the two members of the iconic electro band Cassius, died in Paris on Wednesday, according to his agent. He was 50. The Grammy-winning Cerboneschi “made an accidental fall through the window of a high floor of a Parisian building,” the BBC quoted Cerboneschi’s agent as saying. News of his death [...]

  • Jim Gosnell

    APA Claims Texts Were Fabricated in Lurid Sex Harassment Suit

    A former assistant at APA filed a lurid sexual harassment complaint on Wednesday alleging that a partner at the firm sent her graphic text messages and threatened to have her fired when she refused his advances. The assistant, identified in the suit only as Jane Doe, alleges that top management fostered a “toxic, pervasive and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content