Just days after Absolute Label Services returned to its founders, some 17 months after acquiring the company, Utopia Music has announced another round of layoffs.
Switzerland-based Utopia Music announced its latest job cuts in an internally circulated memo, confirming the less-than-ideal development to Digital Music News. After embarking on a highly publicized buying spree in 2021 and 2022, Utopia has sold several of those companies up to this point in 2023, including Sentric Music Group, ROSTR, and the aforementioned Absolute.
Several layoffs accompanied the divestitures – notably, while the founders of ROSTR also took ownership and sold Utopia Sentric to Paris-based company Believe. Ahead of today’s downsizing, for example, the troubled music fintech parted ways with about 15 percent of its global workforce in mid-April.
According to the memo mentioned (which founder However, Utopia’s recent layoffs stem from the closure of two R&D offices.
“We continue to conduct research and development from our main technology hub, Utopia R&D Stockholm in Sweden, where our core engineers and platform technology come from,” a Utopia spokesman told us. “As part of this consolidation we will close two R&D entities, Utopia UK (R&D) Ltd and Utopia R&D Tech Finland Oy.
“There are no changes in our other ten (employing) entities and we will continue to develop our current product offering and bring more services to market. Physical distribution remains a priority area and we will continue to provide best-in-class services to our large music industry client base,” the representative concluded.
At the time of writing, none of the impacted professionals appeared to have commented publicly on the news via LinkedIn posts, and it was unclear exactly how many team members were impacted. But Hjelmstedt’s memo not only emphasized that “employees affected will of course be taken into account in future appointments”, but also went into the current operational peculiarities of Utopia.
“I am confident that with our current customer offerings we are well positioned to continue to provide world-class services to the music industry. Distribution, Radio Monitoring, TrackNClaim, Enhance & Discover, HeartBeat and Accelerate,” says the relevant part of the text. “While not being taken lightly, the consolidation of our R&D units is a necessary step in realizing our long-term vision Fair payment for every game because it will enable us to deliver new products more efficiently and improve our existing services.”
Utopia upgraded ForTunes (which the company has owned since December 2021) into well-known company HeartBeat earlier this month. As a “companion app for the music industry”, HeartBeat has already entered into a partnership with the customer relationship management platform Laylo, according to managers.