Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

INgrooves buys Fontana

By | Published on Monday 5 March 2012


Digital distributor INgrooves has acquired the Fontana indie label distribution business from Universal Music, bringing physical distribution expertise and infrastructure with it.

The deal will create INgrooves Fontana, to be co-run by Dave Zierler and Ron Spaulding, currently presidents of INgrooves and Fontana respectively. The new venture will offer a complete distribution service to independent artists and labels, with the two companies’ digital expertise combined, and Fontana’s physical distribution network added into the mix. Universal already has a minority stake in INgrooves, and the company already provided some digital services to Fontana’s clients.

Confirming the deal, INgrooves CEO Robb McDaniels told CMU: “Through this acquisition, we are now able to offer the independent music community a fully integrated physical and digital distribution marketing solution in North America. We believe that a successful relationship between distributor and label is, at its root, a flexible structure with a transparent flow of information. By combining INgrooves and Fontana, we will be able to extend this philosophy into a comprehensive distribution operation that provides our collective client base with a larger sales force, more marketing resources and a one-stop global retail network that maximises opportunities in this dynamic, challenging environment”.

Meanwhile Universal’s COO Zach Horowitz added: “INgrooves’ commitment to independent music is second to none. The combination of INgrooves and Fontana creates one of the strongest, most innovative companies in the business today, uniquely positioned to superserve its distributed labels with some of the most sophisticated executive talent in this genre of music, cutting edge technology, and enhanced marketing services. As a minority owner of INgrooves, we believe this new style of relationship with the independent community maximises the potential of our investment and creates the single best home for independent labels”.

The Fontana brand dates back to the 1950s and had various incarnations as a label, before the name was attached to Universal’s indie label distribution division in 2004.