Utopia Music layoffs as it downsizes staff worldwide

Utopia Music is the latest company to significantly reduce the size of its global workforce.

The acquiring company, headquartered in Switzerland, has confirmed to MBW that it has made a number of layoffs.

Sources suggest these cuts were mostly made to Utopia’s central team — including some senior executives — as well as its tech-focused workforce.

So far, Utopia’s technical staff have been tasked with building the company proprietary music monitoring platformsometimes referred to as “Utopia Open Platform” (UOP).

MBW estimates that Utopia’s global team will number 1,200 people. This figure includes both contractors and around 800 employees.

A spokesman for Utopia Music told MBW today (November 24): “Like many growth companies in today’s macroeconomic environment, Utopia is making changes to its internal structure to streamline the business.

“We have grown rapidly in two years, organically and through 15 acquisitions. Now we are realizing cost synergies between these acquisitions and focusing on sustainable growth. These changes allow us to better serve the music industry and provide fair payment for every game.

“Unfortunately, this means we have to say goodbye to some of our colleagues as part of this process. This decision was not an easy one for us and we greatly value the contribution of all our employees to Utopia’s journey to date.”

“We have grown rapidly in two years, organically and through 15 acquisitions. Now we are realizing cost synergies between these acquisitions and focusing on sustainable growth.”

Utopia Music spokesman

Utopia is led by CEO Markku Mäkeläinen and was founded by Mattias Hjelmstedt.

Hjelmstedt has previously founded media streaming startups Voddler and magines

News of job losses at Utopia follows a wave of layoffs that has swept through the tech-centric side of the global music business.

Just last week, MENA-focused Spotify rival Anghami announced it was cutting 22% of its workforce. This followed news in August that SoundCloud was reducing its global workforce by about 20%.

The US-based collecting society BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) also confirmed in August that it would lay off “almost 10%” of its entire workforce.

Spotify was reportedly there too to reduce his re-hiring earlier this year, while more recent online rumors have it implied in laying off employees from his talent team. There were also reports Podcast employees at SPOT were fired last month.

Today’s news follows a hiring spree at Utopia over the past 14 months – which has run in parallel with an aggressive acquisition strategy.

This acquisition spree included: UK warehousing, fulfillment and distribution company Cinram Novum; UK-based physical and digital music distributor Proper Music Group; and Absolute Label Services, another UK-based distribution and services provider to independent artists and record labels.

Earlier this year, Utopia also acquired Liverpool-based music publishing and publishing management company Sentric Music Group.

In December 2021, the company acquired US-based music industry directory ROSTR and Austria-based music data analytics platform ForTunes.

In October 2021, the company bought Nashville-based financial services firm Lyric Financial and in September, Utopia bought Quincy Jones-backed emotional data enrichment company Musimap.

One of Utopia’s senior positions this year was Ulf Zick, who left his position as Managing Director, International at Universal Music Germany in April to join Utopia.

Last week we learned that just six months after joining Utopia as chief marketing officer, Zick announced that he was leaving the Swiss company to return to work at Universal.

In August, MBW reported that Utopia was attempting to raise €300 million in a Series C round that would value its company at €2.5 billion.music business worldwide

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/utopia-music-makes-layoffs-as-it-downsizes-global-team/ Utopia Music layoffs as it downsizes staff worldwide

Russell Falcon

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