Utopia’s CEO says Absolute Label Services doesn’t fit into the company’s “refined focus.”

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Photo credit: Mattias Hjelmstedt

After Absolute Label Services’ executive team reacquired the company from Utopia Music, Utopia CEO Mattias Hjelmstedt says Absolute didn’t fit into Utopia’s “refined focus.”

Original Absolute Label Services shareholders Henry Semmence, Simon Wills, Debs Cutting and Mark Dowling have done so recovered 100% owned by Utopia Music, following Utopia’s massive wave of acquisitions in 2021 and 2022. Now, the founder of Utopia is restating the takeover.

Absolute has been providing label services since 1998 and was acquired by Utopia in February 2022 while retaining its original team, infrastructure and customer base. The company reports that label services and rights sales are up 25% year over year.

Absolute has a number of projects planned for the remainder of the year and into 2024, including collaborations with Kula Shaker, Busted, The Vamps’ James McVey, Kaiser Chiefs, Delta Goodrem and Tokio Myers, as well as emerging talent.

“In Utopia’s relentless pursuit of neutrality and robust partnerships with digital distributors and the music industry, we acquired Absolute Label Services in February 2022,” said Mattias Hjelmstedt, executive chairman and founder of Utopia Music, in a statement to Digital Music News of the company’s acquisition by Absolute’s founders.

“Our goal was to get in touch with more labels and YouTubers. As part of a strategic development, we are now refining our focus. Utopia is doubling its core service offering: physical distribution, radio monitoring, TrackNClaim, Enhance & Discover, HeartBeat and Accelerate.

“Consistent with this refined focus, and in an effort to ensure the continued delivery of exceptional service in all aspects of our business, we believe the Absolute team, led by Founders Henry Semmence and Simon Wills, will find it most beneficial to buy back the company.

“This step is a testament to our ongoing commitment to excellence and efficiency. It reflects our belief that Absolute Label Services, under the leadership of its original administrators, will continue to provide excellent digital distribution services to the music industry. Utopia is excited about this strategic shift and looks forward to continuing its mission with an even greater focus on its core services.”

Hjelmstedt and Utopia declined to offer price figures for the original acquisition and subsequent divestment.