Utopia CEO Says Absolute Label Services Didn’t Fit Into the Company’s ‘Refined Focus’

Utopia Absolute
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Utopia Absolute
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Photo Credit: Mattias Hjelmstedt

After Absolute Label Services’ leadership team regained ownership of the company from Utopia Music, Utopia CEO Mattias Hjelmstedt says that Absolute didn’t fit into Utopia’s ‘refined focus.’

Original Absolute Label Services shareholders Henry Semmence, Simon Wills, Debs Cutting, and Mark Dowling have reacquired 100% of the company from Utopia Music, following Utopia’s expansive acquisition spree in 2021 and 2022. Now, Utopia’s founder is reframing the reacquisition.

Providing label services since 1998, Absolute was acquired by Utopia in February 2022 but maintained its original team, infrastructure, and client base. The company reports revenues are up 25% year-on-year across its label services and rights operations. 

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

“In Utopia’s relentless pursuit of neutrality and robust partnership with digital distributors and the music industry, we acquired Absolute Label Services in February 2022,” says Mattias Hjelmstedt, Executive Chairman and Founder of Utopia Music in a statement to Digital Music News regarding Absolute’s founders’ reacquisition of the company. 

“Our aim was to connect with more labels and creators. Now, as part of a strategic evolution, we are refining our focus. Utopia is doubling down on its core service offerings: Physical Distribution, Radio Monitoring, TrackNClaim, Enhance & Discover, HeartBeat, and Accelerate.

“In line with this refined focus, and in an effort to ensure the continued delivery of exceptional services in all aspects of our business, we believe it’s most beneficial for the Absolute team, led by founder Henry Semmence and Simon Wills, to reacquire the company. 

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

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