Utopia Music Buys Leading UK Physical Distributor Cinram Novum – Billboard


LONDON — Swiss-based tech firm Utopia Music is making additional inroads into the report enterprise with the acquisition of U.Ok. bodily distributor Cinram Novum, which supplies warehouse, success and distribution providers to quite a lot of labels, together with Common Music Group, Sony Music Leisure and PIAS.

Phrases weren’t disclosed for the deal, which was achieved via Utopia’s U.Ok. subsidiary Utopia Distribution Companies Restricted. The acquisition marks a major enlargement of the corporate’s fast-growing music distribution enterprise.

In January, Utopia acquired Correct Music Group, the U.Ok.’s main impartial bodily music distributor, which supplies distribution providers for 1,000-plus indie labels and repair firms and counts Tough Commerce, HMV and supermarkets Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s amongst its retail purchasers. Correct additionally handles “dropship success” — which means it shares and ships vinyl information and CDs on to clients — on behalf of Consider, The Orchard and Amazon.

Consistent with the acquisition of Correct, Utopia launched its personal devoted Distribution Companies unit firstly of the 12 months, offering impartial and main labels with a big suite of bodily and digital providers, together with distribution, gross sales, manufacturing and advertising.

Utopia adopted the Correct deal in February with the acquisition of Absolute Label Companies, a U.Ok.-based distribution and providers supplier to impartial artists and report labels, additionally for an undisclosed sum.

Based mostly in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (round 40 miles outdoors of central London), Cinram Novum is among the U.Ok.’s main bodily residence leisure suppliers, working a 350,000-square-foot warehousing and distribution facility. Its enterprise has, nonetheless, been hit arduous by the autumn in bodily music and movie DVD gross sales and went into administration in 2017, after which it was acquired by Patriot Group Investments.

Latest years have seen a continued decline within the reputation of bodily music purchases within the U.Ok., though that development circled in 2021 when bodily format gross sales grew by 14.6% year-on-year to only below £241 million ($277 million), based on knowledge from U.Ok. labels commerce physique BPI.

BPI credited the continued resurgence in vinyl gross sales and the continued reputation of the CD — fueled by big-selling releases by ABBA, Ed Sheeran and Adele — with driving the rise in bodily format revenues. Vinyl gross sales final 12 months grew by 34% year-on-year to £116 million ($133 million), and CD gross sales ticked up 1.4% to £117 million ($134 million), the primary progress for the format in 4 years.

Regardless of stronger-than-expected gross sales, Cinram Novum continued to wrestle financially, with Utopia’s buyout saving the 40-year-old firm from insolvency and securing round 300 jobs.

“The lack of Cinram Novum would have been detrimental to all the U.Ok. music trade, leading to monetary losses and disruption for labels, retailers, artists and their followers,” says Roberto Neri, Utopia Music’s chief working officer.

“Via this acquisition,” Neri says, “our intention is that Utopia can safe Cinram’s future.”

Based in 2016 and headquartered within the Swiss city of Zug, Utopia Music has launched into a busy multi-million-dollar acquisition spree over the previous 18 months, because it grows its international music footprint.

Along with shopping for Correct and Absolute Label Companies, current offers embrace the purchases of music tech firm Musimap final September and Lyric Monetary, a Nashville-based supplier of royalty-backed money advances, in November.

In December, Utopia added U.S.-based music trade listing ROSTR and Austria-based music knowledge analytics platform ForTunes. On the identical time, Utopia launched a brand new creator providers enterprise unit. Different acquisitions the corporate has closed this 12 months features a deal for Liverpool-based impartial writer Sentric Music Group.

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