Switzerland-headquartered fintech company Utopia Music is expanding into physical and digital music distribution.
The fast-growing firm has acquired UK-based distributor Proper Music Group.
Utopia says that the new acquisition will help it to “supercharge their song economics and accelerate Royalty payouts for Creators”, as well as to digitise operations and processes within Proper Music Group’s services.
Today’s news marks Utopia’s fifth company acquisition since September.
Just last month it acquired US-based music industry directory ROSTR and Austria-based music data analytics platform, ForTunes.
In October, the firm bought Nashville-based financial services company, Lyric Financial and in September, Utopia bought Quincy Jones-backed emotional data enrichment company Musimap.
Sources tell MBW that Utopia has tens of millions of dollars at its disposal.
Utopia says that its new Distribution Services unit “will service both independent and major labels” and will offer physical distribution and sales, manufacturing and digital distribution services.
It will offer marketing for “creators and performers”, digital retail marketing, reporting and budgeting, real-time analytics, and synchronisation.
Proper says that it will continue to service its existing customer base “as part of the Utopia family”.
Proper says that it handles over 1 million titles at any one time and provides distribution services for over 1,000 independent labels and service companies.
Some of those firms include Absolute Label Services, ADA, AWAL, Believe, Cherry Red, Concord, Epitaph, Hospital, INgrooves, Kartel, Orchard, Redeye, RSK, Snapper and SRD. Proper says that its clients collectively represent 10% of the UK physical recorded music market.
In addition to its multiple recent company acquisitions, Utopia has made a number of senior appointments in the past few months.
Lat month, Utopia hired Tony Latham as Vice President of its ‘Investor Services Business Unit’, which it says will “support catalog acquisition and maximise fund lifecycle monetization opportunities for existing and future Utopia clients”.
Meanwhile, Roberto Neri joined as Chief Operating Officer in September, followed by the appointments of Paul Gathercole as Chief Data Officer, Åsa Carild as Head of Platform, Paul Stuart as Chief Legal Officer, Mark Williamson as Vice President for Creator Services, and Rachel Kelly as Vice President for Australia.
“This acquisition serves as a building block towards achieving a real Utopia.”
Roberto Neri, Utopia Music
“We are delighted to announce our acquisition of Proper, which will serve the whole industry and digitise operations and processes when it comes to distribution,” said Roberto Neri, Chief Operating Officer at Utopia Music.
“This acquisition serves as a building block towards achieving a real Utopia. It will allow us to ensure ‘Fair Pay for Every Play’, and be more efficient by offering better and faster financial services to Creators, and servicing both major and independent labels.
“We are excited to welcome them into our family.”
“Proper has a long history in the UK Music scene of which we are incredibly proud.”
Drew Hill, Proper Music Group
Drew Hill, managing director at Proper Music Group, said: “Proper has a long history in the UK Music scene of which we are incredibly proud.
“That’s why when we learned of Utopia’s mission we knew we wanted to be a part of it. We believe that together we can help the whole value chain reach new heights, and as such we could not be more excited about this new venture.”
“Utopia has the perfect vision to take the company to exciting new heights and realise its potential on the global stage.”
Malcolm Mills, Proper Music Group
Malcolm Mills, Proper Music Group’s founder and former Chairman, said: “I am immensely proud of what Proper has achieved since I started the original business in 1988, with the company thriving through the evolution of digital to become one of the UK’s leading distributors.
“It is entirely due to the quality of people employed in the company and I am grateful to them for their relentless dedication and commitment to providing the exemplary service that has made Proper unique in this field.
“Utopia has the perfect vision to take the company to exciting new heights and realise its potential on the global stage.”Music Business Worldwide