Swiss fintech Utopia has decided to sell its repertoire and music industry data platform, ROSTR, to its founders Mark Williamson and Adam Watson.
The decision, announced on Tuesday February 7, comes less than three months after the company confirmed to MBW that it had made a number of redundancies.
“Like many growth companies in the current macro environment, Utopia is making changes to its internal structure to optimize business,” Utopia said at the time.
The news also comes just over a week after the announcement of the departure of Utopia CEO Markku Mäkeläinen.
The sale of ROSTR by Utopia is part of a larger strategic reorganization.
“Our utopian vision is that the music industry can fully monetize the use of music in all its forms and continue to grow accordingly. We are working hard to make this a reality, focusing our efforts on building financial infrastructure and B2B services for the music industry.
Mattias Hjelmstedt, Utopia
The company decided to create two divisions: Music Services and Royalty Platform, as it refocuses on financial services for the music industry, the company says.
Utopia acquired US company ROSTR and Austria-based music data analytics platform ForTunes in December 2021, paving the way for the creation of Utopia’s Creator Services unit in 2022.
ROSTR claims to map “the largest database of artist teams comprising hundreds of thousands of relationships between artists, managers, agents, labels and publishers”.
With the sale of ROSTR, Utopia says it will now focus on serving creators through third parties through its B2B offerings. The company did not disclose whether it would also divest ForTunes.
“Utopia and ROSTR have come together with a common mission to create a better world for music, although we will pursue this mission on separate paths, we know that ROSTR is an invaluable resource for the music industry and we wish Mark, Adam and good luck to the entire ROSTR team,” said Utopia Executive Chairman Mattias Hjelmstedt.
“When we had the opportunity to buy ROSTR, we had to take it; we have unfinished business that helps build a more connected entertainment industry.
Mark Williamson, ROSTR
Commenting on the deal, ROSTR CEO and Co-Founder Mark Williamson said: “When we had the opportunity to buy ROSTR, we had to take it; we have unfinished business that helps build a more connected entertainment industry. We would like to thank Utopia for the past year and wish them much success for the future.
The sale will allow Utopia to focus more on building and scaling a financial infrastructure and products for the music industry that would enable industry players to process royalties accurately.
“Our utopian vision is that the music industry can fully monetize the use of music in all its forms and continue to grow accordingly. We are working hard to make this a reality, focusing our efforts on building financial infrastructure and B2B services for the music industry to process and pay royalties quickly and accurately,” added Hjelmstedt.
In November 2022, a company spokesperson told MBW that Utopia had grown rapidly in two years, organically and through 15 acquisitions. The company is now striving to realize cost synergies in its acquisitions and focus on sustainable growth.
Over the past few years, Utopia has made a series of acquisitions, including physical music distributor Cinram, UK-based Absolute Label Services, Liverpool-based music publisher and management company publisher Sentric Music Group and UK distributor Proper Music Group, among others. .
The music industry around the world