Distributor Believe has been fielding some criticism over its decision to continue doing business in Russia, although CEO Denis Ladegaillerie has been defending its position there.

Interviewed by Billboard, he claimed that Believe’s decision not to pull out entirely following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “really not an economic decision… We are not looking at building or growing or extracting value”.

Ladegaillerie also pointed to the ongoing availability of international non-Believe artists’ music in Russia, as well as Apple Music and YouTube’s availability there.

Billboard has poked around some of those claims: for example finding that Believe’s combined revenues from Russia and Ukraine have been growing (up 9.9% last year).

With the war continuing, the company can expect more scrutiny – but it’s not the only music firm that still has links to Russia.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight