A couple independent digital distributors have consolidated. Label service company Believe Digital has acquired indie artist distribution company TuneCore. The press release describes it as a “partnership”, but it is an acquisition.
TuneCore artists will get access to Believe Digital’s wider distribution network and label services, with offices in 29 countries and a staff of 250.
Denis Ladegaillerie, Believe Digital Founder and President, says:
“The success of TuneCore, its deep commitment to independent artists, and the natural synergy between our services for artists, make this partnership a powerful force to propel artists’ growth. There is a tremendous opportunity for TuneCore & Believe to champion independent artists and their entrepreneurship, and together our focus will be to provide the best comprehensive services to a wider range of musicians around the world.”
TuneCore has paid out a total of $504 million to artists, though its broader business model has largely disappointed. In heady days of last decade, VCs plowed money into ‘DIY’ artist distribution services like TuneCore, but a myriad of issues ultimately dampened revenues and prevented giant ‘exit events’ like IPOs and major acquisitions. Believe’s more label-focused digital distribution segment has also faced serious pressures, which makes the consolidation less about growth and more about survival.