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French trade body says Believe is hindering its stats gathering

By | Published on Wednesday 15 September 2021


After the Recording Industry Association Of America published its half year stats for the US recorded music market earlier this week, its French counterpart announced it wouldn’t be doing the same for its market. And not because the French are just far too cool for tedious market stats.

French record industry trade group SNEP said yesterday that it would love to pump out some record industry statistics for everyone to enjoy, especially now that it’s working with the UK’s Official Charts Company on all the mathematicals, which will make its stats all the finer. But it can’t. And all because of France-based music distributor Believe.

“SNEP’s statistics are published in accordance with international accounting and professional standards, developed to the highest international standards for the analysis of trends in all segments of the music market”, the trade group said in a statement.

“The market data published by SNEP is an essential tool for the recording industry and its partners. As such, it is essential that this data is definitive and reliable. In order to achieve this, SNEP is this year is investing in changes to further improve its procedures, helped by the expertise of its new service provider, The Official Charts Company”.

It went on: “The methodological changes involved in this transitional phase call for enhanced cooperation from all companies in the sector. However, unlike the other main distribution companies – be they the major or independent labels – Believe has until now shown no willingness to be transparent about its activities in France”.

Which means, SNEP claimed, “[it is] impossible for the first time to publish reliable data. In view of the need for accurate analysis of the annual figures, and in the best interests of the industry, we have no doubt that Believe will promptly comply with the rules established by all the distributors contributing to market data”.

No doubt indeed. Although the fact that it is the recently IPOed Believe that is holding up SNEP’s half year stats pack is news to Believe. Or so says Believe.

“Believe was surprised to learn through a press release and without having been informed beforehand that the SNEP needed Believe’s data for the publication of their market figures”, the music firm said in a response statement.

“Like a number of other independent players, Believe hasn’t been providing its data to the SNEP for the last several years, and it was never an issue”, it added. “We understand that Believe’s significant market position in the French market makes its data necessary to the completeness and reliability of the market data published by the SNEP”.

“Believe is always ready to participate in the production of market data and artist rankings when produced in an independent, honest and transparent way, in all of its operating countries”, it concluded. “We are available to discuss with SNEP how best to achieve these goals in France”.

So that’s fun. Is Believe implying that SNEP’s stats gathering isn’t “independent, honest or transparent”? Or is it just me inferring that to increase the fun times? Maybe Believe missed a memo about how SNEP is all about independent, honest and transparent data. We’ll see, I guess.