Arvato quits UK music business as majors move elsewhere

It’s been a dominant force in physical entertainment distribution for years, but MBW has learnt that Arvato is exiting the music business in the UK and closing its Milton Keynes operation.

Earlier this week, [PIAS] announced that it was switching its UK and Ireland distribution account from Arvato to Cinram. That move is expected to take place by the end of January.

But it’s not alone: all three major labels either have or are in the process of leaving Arvato and moving their UK & Ireland accounts elsewhere.

Sony Music is understood to have already moved its physical distribution account to Sony DADC, with Universal expected to join them by the end of February.

Like [PIAS], Warner Music is believed to have agreed to leave Arvato at the end of this month to move to Cinram.

Although the closure of its 16,500m-square-foot Milton Keynes operation – which specialises in CDs, gifts and lifestyle projects – is now imminent, Arvato will continue to work with music in other territories around the world.

“We have taken the decision to close our Milton Keynes site and to exit the UK music distribution business by spring this year”

Arvato spokesperson

The Bertelsmann-owned company is active in 40 markets, employing over 65,000 people internationally.

When contacted by MBW, an Arvato spokesperson said: “Following a strategic review of our UK supply chain management business, we have taken the decision to close our Milton Keynes site and to exit the UK music distribution business by spring this year.

“This decision does not affect our international partnerships with a number of clients within the music industry.

“Any non-music industry client relationships are being transferred to other arvato sites and we remain committed to the supply chain management business in the UK where we continue to target new growth.”

When Sony DADC won the Universal Music account last year for the UK & Ireland, the company’s general manager distribution Natasha Tyrrell said: “It is fantastic to have won this contract with such a prestigious recording company and we look forward to a successful partnership with them.

“Our facilities in the UK are second to none and are being recognised as such by the world’s premiere entertainment companies.

“Utilising the best internal and external solutions available we guarantee a comprehensive, high quality solution to support the future of both packaged and digital media.”Music Business Worldwide

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