Feb 8, 2023 1 min read

Utopia sells ROSTR back to its founders

Following its recent downsizing and executive rejig, Utopia Music has sold back one of its earlier acquisitions to the founders of that company.

Utopia, of course, grew significantly in 2021 and 2022 through a number of acquisitions, buying – among other things – music-centric finance platform Lyric Financial, music distributor Proper Music, artist services business Absolute, and music publisher and royalty admin service Sentric Music.

Another company that it acquired along the way was ROSTR, the music industry directory and data platform founded by Mark Williamson and Adam Watson.

Utopia said yesterday that it bought ROSTR “with the intent to strengthen its direct offering towards creators”. However, “as part of the company’s strategic reorganisation, Utopia will now focus on serving creators through third parties via its B2B offerings”.

That “strategic reorganisation” included the creation of two divisions – Utopia Music Tech and the Utopia Royalty Platform – and a downsizing of the Utopia workforce late last year. More recently it was announced that CEO Markku Mäkeläinen had stepped down, with company founder Mattias Hjelmstedt taking on that role on an interim basis.

On the latest development, Hjelmstedt said: “Our Utopian vision is that the music industry can fully monetise the use of music in all its forms and continue to grow as a result. We’re working hard to make this a reality, by focusing our efforts on building the financial infrastructure and B2B services for the music industry to process and pay out royalties quickly and accurately”.

Speaking about ROSTR specifically, he went on: “Utopia and ROSTR came together with a shared mission of making a better world for music, although we’ll be pursuing this mission on separate paths, we know ROSTR is an invaluable resource for the music industry and we wish Mark, Adam and the whole ROSTR team the best of luck”.

Over on the ROSTR side, Williamson added: “When we were given the opportunity to re-acquire ROSTR, we had to take it; we have unfinished business helping to build a more connected entertainment industry. We’d like to thank Utopia for the last year and wish them all the success going forward”.

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