Now Believe muscles in on majors in Germany

Last year, Believe calculated it was France’s No.2 biggest recorded music company in 2021 in terms of annual distribution market share of frontline domestic artist albums.

That was according to Believe’s calculations based on Top 200 annual chart data from market monitor SNEP (via the Official Charts company).

Now the company has made another impressive claim based on market data.

Believe says it was the third largest recorded music company in the German music streaming market based on local repertoire in 2022, behind Universal Music and Sony Music in first and second place, respectively. (Just to reiterate: this is for domestic artists only, and doesn’t include international repertoire.)

Believe, the France-born distribution and services company (and owner of labels such as Germany-based Nuclear Blast), says that it made its calculation by analyzing market data from GFK for the period between January and June 2022.

The company says that it analyzed the Top 10,000 streaming artists manually and categorized an artist as ‘local’ if they were based in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.

Believe says that the Top 10,000 artists represents 78% of the total value of the German streaming market.

Speaking to Germany-based music trade paper, MusikWoche, Thorsten Freese, Managing Director for Believe Germany, explained [translated] the company’s research methodology: “Measuring market shares by local content is not something that GfK does automatically,” he said.

“We manually filtered out international artists like Ed Sheeran from the official data and looked exclusively at local acts. We then calculated our market shares on this basis.”

He explained further in his MusikWoche interview that Believe is “driven primarily by the local market” in Germany and that “accordingly, we look at our performance very specifically in terms of domestic acts that we cater to in Germany”.

Freese added: “Our own surveys show Believe as the third largest company in the German streaming market. So we’re already ahead of one of the majors – and in certain genres we’re doing even better. In hip-hop, for example, we are already the second-largest player.”

Believe reports that Germany is its second-biggest market, accounting for 15.3% of the publicly-traded company’s revenues in the first half of 2022.

The company’s group revenue growth in H1 was up +35.4% YoY to €352.2 million, and up 35.6% YoY on an organic basis (i.e. discounting acquisitions made this year);

According to Believe, in H1 2022, its group revenue in Germany increased by 13% YoY, with digital revenues growing by around 25% in the market.

Audio streaming grew 9.1% YoY in the first half of the year in Germany and now accounts for 73.3% of the recorded music market’s total revenues.

Germany’s record business generated revenues of $1 billion (€967 million) in the first six months of this year from both physical music sales and streaming, an increase of 5.5% compared to the same period last year for the world’s fourth-largest recorded music market.

“At Believe we are driven by the will to build the most comprehensive offering so that all German artists and labels, regardless of their music genre or development stage, can find the right support to fit their specific needs and ambitions to develop them to the next stage.”

Thorsten Freese

In a statement issued to media, Freese said: “At Believe we are driven by the will to build the most comprehensive offering so that all German artists and labels, regardless of their music genre or development stage, can find the right support to fit their specific needs and ambitions to develop them to the next stage.

“That can only be achieved by combining Believe’s leading Central Platform technology and solutions with the strength of our local team’s digital savviness and market intelligence, in parallel with our investment in local repertoires and booming domestic genres like urban”,

Added Freese: “It’s been fascinating to see this year unfold and I’m thrilled that it proved to be such a milestone for Believe in Germany. We are confident that we will continue building on this year’s landmark performance.

“It has never been more relevant for us to put all our efforts into supporting our local labels and artists at all stages of their careers, so that they can thrive and live from their art, thus contributing to a fairer and more sustainable music ecosystem.”

Specific artist case studies cited by Believe in Germany include Theo Junior, who the company says started out as a TuneCore artist, but was subsequently signed by Believe-owned label Groove Attack and went into the Top 10 of the Official German Charts with his first single. 

Another example cited by the company is indie pop band KAFFKIEZ, who it says went from its Label and Artist Solutions to Artist Services division and saw growth of 300% on TikTok, and 500% on Spotify with nearly 16 million streams on their debut album.

German rock band Milky Chance, who partnered with Believe for distribution in 2021, recently reached the milestone of 1 billion streams on Spotify for their hit Stolen Dance.

Believe says that Miksu/Maccloud and T-Low’s Sehnsucht was the second most streamed track on Spotify in Germany in 2022, while Raf Camora was the most streamed artist in Germany in the year end chart. Music Business Worldwide

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