● With its vision of “Fair Pay for Every Play”, Utopia Music bought Proper Music Group to supercharge their song economics, accelerate Royalty payouts for Creators as well as bring their massive data repository and opportunities to digitise operations and processes to Proper Music Group’s services

● The acquisition will launch a new Distribution Services business unit that will service the entire industry including major and independent labels by facilitating both physical and digital b2b and d2c distribution as well as dropship fulfilment services

● It will provide labels access to new and exciting technology and provide managed services such as administration, sales, and distribution, both physical and digital with digital retail marketing, reporting and additional services, Distribution Services will equally include digital distribution services


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Utopia Music, the Swiss Music fintech company, acquired Proper Music Group (Proper), the UK’s leading physical Music distributor. Alongside its existing immense consumption database that includes more than 33 billion global data points, the new acquisition will help Utopia supercharge their song economics and accelerate Royalty payouts for Creators as well as to digitise operations and processes within Proper Music Group’s services.

Utopia, as a partner to the entire music industry, saw the need to launch a dedicated business unit, Distribution Services, which will service both independent and major labels by facilitating cutting edge distribution and label services. The acquisition of Proper Music Group is a fitting launch for this important part of the path towards Utopia.

“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.”

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, 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.”

Utopia is dedicated to optimising the Music ecosystem, including minimising its carbon impact. Utopia Music is already a carbon negative company and is committed to further enhance Proper's dedication to a reduced environmental impact. To this end, 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.

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About Utopia Music
Utopia Music was founded in Switzerland in 2016 and now has a presence in Zug, London, Stockholm, Brussels, Helsinki, Nashville, Vienna, and Sydney and has nearly 200 employees worldwide. Its mission is to build a new music ecosystem that will help the entire Music Industry by creating new revenue streams, consolidating data, and drastically reducing the restrictive administrative overhead limitations created by antiquated systems. The goal is to free up available revenues for Creative Processes and Creator Development, and thereby, create a Utopia for the Music Industry.

About Proper Music Group
Proper Music Group is a full services company providing everything from global physical and digital distribution to artist and label services, publishing, D2C, and its own record label. Clients are able to tap into as much or as little of Proper’s offering as fits their needs. Its distribution arm, Proper Music Distribution - the UK's leading physical music distributor, handling over 1,000,000 titles at any one time – is renowned for its specialist knowledge and personal service coupled with its wide market reach and influence.
Distributing for over 1000 independent labels and service companies including Absolute Label Services, ADA, AWAL, Believe, Cherry Red, Concord, Epitaph, Hospital, INgrooves, Kartel, Orchard, Redeye, RSK, Snapper and SRD, the company collectively represent 10% of the UK physical recorded music market. Proper Music Group received The Company Award: Diversity In The Workplace at the Women In Music Awards 2017, and was also awarded Best Sales Team at the Music Week Awards in 2020 & 2017, and Best Distributor in 2012, 2010 & 2009.

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January 19, 2022 7:00am ET by Name PR  

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