Believe blasts into publishing, buying $51m-valued Sentric

Believe has acquired UK-born music publishing platform Sentric.

Paris-based Believe says that its acquisition of Sentric acts as “a first step for Believe in rolling out a global and comprehensive publishing business”.

Sentric is a music publishing platform based in Liverpool, UK, with offices in Europe and the United States.

The news arrives a year after Sentric Music Group was acquired by Switzerland-headquartered fintech company Utopia Music.

Believe is acquiring full ownership of Sentric, which was held by Utopia since February 2022.

Believe says this transaction values Sentric at €47 million ($51m) on a 100% basis. This new business line will be led by the existing Sentric’s leadership team.

Partnering with over 70 collecting societies, Sentric operates in over 200 territories, representing more than 4 million songs and over 400,000 songwriters either directly or via industry partners.

Moving forward, Believe, which also owns DIY music distribution company TuneCore, says that Sentric’s integration “will further strengthen” publishing for TuneCore’s self-releasing artists and expand it to new geographies.

Sentric will then offer publishing services to all clients within the Believe Group, who it says “will be able to monetize their music seamlessly”.

Believe claims that the acquisition “will also provide new ways to manage and optimize catalogs and address songwriters and publishers, in addition to artists and labels”.

Believe says that its external growth strategy “is focused on capturing investment and acquisition opportunities where the Group can leverage its global presence, digital expertise and technology to offer unique and innovative solutions to artists and music rights-holders on a large scale”.

It notes that “the acceleration of the digitalization of the publishing market presents Believe with an attractive opportunity to build a service for songwriters and publishers, in a way that is both innovative and complementary with its core recorded music offering”.

Believe says that Sentric’s proprietary platform “is one of the most advanced solutions in the market, able to manage publishing for self-releasing artists profitably and at scale, while also offering global publishing deals to rights-holders at each stage of their development”.

The company also says that “Sentric’s backend platform offers a publishing infrastructure best fit for digital rights’ management, while providing songwriters and publishers with a suite of tools and actionable data to power their strategies through its user portal”.

Sentric recently renewed its agreement with TuneCore. Believe says that 23% of TuneCore’s subscribers “are already benefiting from Sentric’s solution”.

Since its inception in 2012, TuneCore says that its Publishing Administration service has paid over $100 million to songwriters.

“The acquisition of Sentric is the first step for Believe in the roll-out of a global and comprehensive publishing offer.”

Denis Ladegaillerie, Believe

Denis Ladegaillerie, Founder & CEO, Believe, said: “The acquisition of Sentric is the first step for Believe in the roll-out of a global and comprehensive publishing offer.

“The growth and digital transformation of the songwriters’ market is opening-up many opportunities.

“We are excited to be able to immediately expand the services we provide to our existing TuneCore clients with Sentric’s best-in-class royalty collection service, while starting to work on future innovative products and services for all of Believe’s songwriters and publishers.”

Believe’s acquisition of Sentric follows the recent publication of Believe’s earnings release for FY 2022, in which it reported that it achieved positive free cash flow of €52.0 million. In the prior year, it posted negative annual (-€30.7m) free cash flow.

This new free cash flow, according to Believe, has boosted its “firepower for M&A” in the subsequent 12 months.

The firm said in a note to investors that it “expects to leverage [our] cash to resume its acquisition strategy in FY ’23 driven by opportunities created by current market conditions”.Music Business Worldwide

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