Utopia Music lays off jobs as it cuts global workforce

Utopia Music has become the latest company to drastically reduce its global workforce.

The Swiss-headquartered acquisition company has confirmed to MBW that it has made a number of redundancies.

Sources say these cuts have primarily taken place in Utopia’s central team — including some senior executives — as well as its technology-focused workforce.

Until now, Utopia’s technical staff has been tasked with building the company’s own music monitoring platform, sometimes referred to as the “Utopia Open Platform” (UOP).

MBW understands that Utopia’s global team numbers 1,200 people. That figure includes both contractors and around 800 employees.

A spokesperson for Utopia Music told MBW today (November 24): “Like many growth companies in today’s macro environment, Utopia is making changes to its internal structure to optimize operations.

“We have grown rapidly in two years, organically and with 15 acquisitions. We are now realizing the cost synergies of these acquisitions and focusing on sustainable growth. These changes allow us to better serve the music industry and provide a fair pay per play.

“Unfortunately, that means saying goodbye to some of our colleagues as part of this process.” This is not a decision taken lightly and we greatly appreciate the contribution of all our employees to Utopia’s journey so far.”

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

Spokesperson for Utopia Music

Utopia is led by Markka Mäkeläinen and was founded by Mattias Hjelmstedt.

Hjelmstedt previously founded a media streaming startup Voddler swear Magine.

News of the job losses at Utopia follows a wave of layoffs sweeping the tech-leaning side of the music industry globally.

Last week, Spotify rival Anghami, which focuses on MENA, revealed it was cutting 22% of its workforce. It followed the news in August of SoundCloud’s reduction in its global workforce by approximately 20%.

American compilation company BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) also confirmed in August that it was laying off “nearly 10%” of its total workforce.

Spotify was also reportedly cutting back on its new hires earlier this year, while more recent online rumors have suggested that staff have been let go from its talent pool. Last month there were also reports that the podcast staff had been laid off at SPOT.

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

These acquisitions have included: UK warehouse, fulfillment and distribution company Cinram Novum; Proper Music Group, a UK-based physical and digital music distributor; and Absolute Label Services, another UK distributor and service provider for independent artists and record labels.

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

In December 2021, it acquired US music industry directory ROSTR and Austrian music data analysis platform, ForTunes.

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

One of Utopia’s top hires this year was Ulf Zick, who left his job 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’s announced that he was leaving the Swiss company to rejoin Universal.

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

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