Big news for the UK recorded music market: Utopia Music has swooped for Proper Music Group.
The Swiss music fintech company has acquired one of the leading physical music distributors in the UK.
Utopia saw the need to launch a dedicated business unit, Distribution Services, which will service both independent and major labels with distribution and label services.
“The acquisition of Proper Music Group is a fitting launch for this important part of the path towards Utopia,” said a statement.
Alongside its existing consumption database, which includes more than 33 billion global data points, the new acquisition will help Utopia accelerate royalty payouts for creators as well as digitise operations and processes within Proper Music Group’s services.
“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 (pictured left), 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.”
Our acquisition of Proper will serve the whole industry and digitise operations and processes when it comes to distribution
The new unit will offer partnering labels physical distribution and sales, manufacturing, digital distribution services, marketing for creators and performers, digital retail marketing, reporting and budgeting, real-time analytics, and synchronisation. It will also garner Utopia further opportunities in digitising operations and processes.
“Proper has a long history in the UK Music scene of which we are incredibly proud,” said Drew Hill (pictured right), managing director at Proper Music Group. “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.”
Proper Music has achieved chart success in partnership with labels on releases by major acts including Oasis (with The Orchard), Gerry Cinnamon and Pet Shop Boys (both AWAL). It could achieve a No.1 album this week with AWAL-signed The Wombats.
Utopia Music is already a carbon negative company and is committed to further enhance Proper's dedication to a reduced environmental impact.
Proper is providing dropship fulfilment for suppliers and customers, such as Cherry Red Records, Believe, Communion, The Orchard and Amazon - its largest customer. This sees CDs and vinyl shipped to the consumer directly from Proper’s warehouse reducing unnecessary stages in the supply chain.
“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,” said Malcolm Mills, Proper Music Group’s founder and former chairman. “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”.
Proper will continue to service its existing customer base as part of the Utopia family, while moving forward with the goal of creating a fairer and more transparent industry, as well as high quality products geared towards labels and creators, according to the announcement.