Roberto Neri, ex-Downtown EVP, joins Utopia Music as COO

Roberto Neri, Chief Operating Officer of Utopia Music

If you’re not yet aware of Utopia Music, now’s the time to put it on your radar.

The Switzerland-headquartered tech company says it’s on a mission to revolutionize the monitoring of music consumption – and consequent royalty payments to rights-holders – worldwide.

It claims that its technology offers “never-before-seen access and reporting depth”, while MBW sources tell us that that firm has already raised millions in investor capital.

The scale of Utopia’s ambition in music has been hinted at by a wave of job vacancy posts on MBW in recent months. Indeed, Utopia says it already employs over 100 people worldwide, across offices in Zug, Helsinki, Stockholm, London and New York.

The company’s latest hire is someone senior music industry figures will know well: Roberto Neri, formerly EVP of Business Development at Downtown Music Holdings, is joining Utopia as Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately.

Neri will work under Utopia CEO Markku Mäkeläinen, who leads the firm alongside its co-founders, Thomas Gullberg and Mattias Hjelmstedt.

Based in London, Neri will be responsible for Commercial and Business Operations at Utopia, and for expanding the firm’s international office footprint.

Neri said: “I am truly excited to be able to work with Markku and the team at Utopia. Joining a company with such great minds, all dedicated to helping every touch point across the music industry and enhancing value for creators is the perfect role for me. I love music, am wholly dedicated to the music industry and Utopia is the perfect place to provide a global solution that addresses some of the systemic inadequacies and pain points.

“I love music, am wholly dedicated to the music industry and Utopia is the perfect place to provide a global solution that addresses some of the systemic inadequacies and pain points.”

Roberto Neri, Utopia

“The industry should fully compensate creators and those that represent their songs and the potential overall value is not currently being captured. Fair pay for every play is what we stand for. I look forward to helping grow the global team and to opening new offices. We will find more best in class executives to join the incredible team that has been put together to date.”

Utopia CEO Markku Mäkeläinen said of Neri’s appointment: “I’m excited to have Roberto join our ever-growing, amazing leadership team and help us make a lasting impact on Global Creator Rights through Utopia.

“Roberto’s connections and positions of trust will tremendously enhance our reach in an industry we all love and are absolutely obsessed with making it the best it can possibly be.”

Utopia said in a media release that it “develops and builds solutions that help the industry recognize and apply the true and full value of creator rights and subsequently increase payouts, bringing the entire lifecycle of creator rights together from creation to monetization”.

“Roberto’s connections and positions of trust will tremendously enhance our reach in an industry we all love and are absolutely obsessed with making it the best it can possibly be.”

Markku Mäkeläinen, Utopia

Roberto Neri was named Downtown’s Executive Vice President, U.K., and Head of European Business Development in 2019.

He joined Downtown in 2015 through the firm’s acquisition of Neri’s own company, Eagle-i Music.

Since 2019, Neri has also held the role of Chair at the UK’s Music Publishers Association, representing the interests of both major and indie pubcos.Music Business Worldwide