Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

Utopia Music buys Cinram Novum

By | Published on Wednesday 14 September 2022

Utopia Music

Utopia Music has further expanded its interests in music distribution by acquiring UK-based physical distributor Cinram Novum. Given that it already owns Proper Music, that means Utopia now controls a lot of the infrastructure for distributing physical releases in the UK.

The physical music distribution market contracted significantly in the 2000s, of course, as CD sales slumped. Although a small number of players remained, winning over the clients of those that closed down, and also often providing logistical support and infrastructure to the new digital distributors which wanted to offer physical distribution as an add-on service.

Cinram was one of the companies that survived, providing physical distribution services for Sony Music and Universal Music as well as indies like [PIAS].

Although it did fall into administration in 2017 before being rescued via an acquisition by Patriot Group Investments. And, with physical music sales continuing to decline – even if those declines have slowed somewhat – the Cinram business has still been operating in a challenging market.

But becoming part of Utopia’s recently launched music distribution division presumably safeguards the future of Cinram in the years ahead. Utopia, of course, has been very acquisitive of late. As well as the deal in January to buy Proper Music– the UK’s other key physical music distributor – in February it also acquired the Absolute Label Services business.

And, beyond music distribution and label services, it has also acquired Sentric Music on the publishing side, as well as companies like music industry focused financial services business Lyric Financial, Quincy Jones-backed music metadata set-up Musimap, music industry directory ROSTR and data analytics platform ForTunes.

Confirming the latest acquisition, Utopia’s COO Roberto Neri says: “The loss of Cinram Novum would have been detrimental to the entire UK music industry, resulting in financial losses and disruption for labels, retailers, artists and their fans. Through this acquisition our intention is that Utopia can secure Cinram’s future”.