Believe generated $682m in annual revenues last year, up 30.7% YoY

Paris-headquartered Believe published its financial results for 2021 today (March 17).

The company reports that it grew its revenues by €135.8 million (30.7%) year-over-year, from €441.4 million in 2020, to €577.2 million (USD $682m) last year.

These results mark the company’s first full year results since floating on the Paris Euronext last summer, where it currently commands a market cap valuation of €1.21 billion ($1.43bn).

In Q4 2021 (ended December 2021), Believe grew its revenues by 30.8% YoY to reach €173.1 million ($205m). Believe also reports that its digital revenues were up 35.9% YoY across the quarter.

Believe reports that its digital revenues grew 33.6% YoY in 2021, and represented 90.9% of its total revenues in the year, compared to 89% of its total revenues in 2020.

The company pins this growth on growth in the streaming market and “solid market share gains” and “accelerated investment in local teams”.

Last year, Believe announced its intention to spend EUR €100 million a year on acquiring music companies in various fast-growing territories around the world, with this strategy resulting in the acquisition of stakes in labels in the Philippines and India, amongst other markets.

Believe says that the expansion of its services in key markets was primary driver behind its revenue growth, which was also driven by the addition of a significant number of new artists and labels.

The company reports today that it added 150,000 artists to its books in 2021 compared to 2020 (presumably across TuneCore as well as its artist/label services operations).

Breaking Believe’s results down by region reveals that the company’s revenues in Asia Pacific and Africa combined grew a whopping 63.4% compared to the prior year and represented 22.6% of the company’s total revenues (versus 18.1% in FY’20).

Revenues generated by Believe in APAC / Africa, combined, last year reached €130.5 million ($154.2m), versus €79.9 million in 2020.

Believe cites “market dynamics, notably in Asia” as having “remained strong throughout the year” and contributing to this growth.

In addition, Believe notes that it expanded its premium services offering in several countries including India, Greater China and Indonesia, which, it adds, reinforces “its market position”.

In December, Sylvain Delange, Believe’s Singapore-based Managing Director of Asia Pacific, outlined the company’s growth and M&A strategy in the Asia Pacific region and told MBW that, “We think that Asia Pacific is going to be the largest recorded music region in the next 10 years”.

Elsewhere in the world, Believe’s revenues generated in Europe (excluding France and Germany) grew 35.4% to €164.7 million ($194.6m) and represented 28.5% of total revenues in 2021 (versus 27.6% in FY’20),

Revenues from the Americas grew by 35.8% YoY to €83.5 million ($98.6m) and represented 14.5% of total revenues (versus 13.9% in FY’20). 

In France, Believe’s revenues increased 18.5% YoY to €96 million ($113.4m) in 2021, reportedly driven by the strong performance of the company’s artist services activities and “further growth in artists and labels solutions”.

In Germany, revenues increased by 5.2% to €102.4 million ($121m) 2021.

France and Germany respectively represented 16.6% and 17.7% of Believe’s total revenues in 2021, versus 18.4% and 22.0% respectively in FY’20).

Believe’s adjusted EBITDA amounted to €23.3 million ($27.5m) in 2021, a significant increase compared to the prior year (€7.7 million).

“In 2021, Believe has once again demonstrated its capacity to deliver strong and profitable growth while continuing to invest for the future.”

Denis Ladegaillerie, Believe

Denis Ladegaillerie, Founder and CEO, said: “In 2021, Believe has once again demonstrated its capacity to deliver strong and profitable growth while continuing to invest for the future.

“We are very proud to have attracted and supported the development of a record number of amazing independent artists and labels around the world throughout the year. We have continued to invest in hiring and training the best people in our industry and in building innovative digital technologies to become the best development and monetization platform for digital music artists.

“A platform based on the driving forces of respect, fairness, transparency and expertise at the center of ‘Shaping Music for Good’, our CSR program. We ended the year on a strong quarter and delivered operational and financial results well above initial objectives presented at IPO, a key milestone of the year.

“The current world situation will have short term consequences, but the resilience of our model will allow us to reap the benefits of the long-term growth and transformation of the digital music and digital artist markets.”Music Business Worldwide