Utopia Music

Utopia Music commits to physical with 25k sqm new warehouse

Distribution centre to open with DP World to cater for growing demand. 25,000 sq metre site equivalent to 10 Camden Roundhouses. Will distribute over 30 million units a year across the UK and export markets.

London, 16th May 2023

To meet growing demand for physical music and video across the UK, Utopia Music has entered into a long-term contract to provide warehousing and logistics with DP World, a leading provider of supply-chain solutions. The move highlights the ongoing resilience in the UK’s physical music and video market, worth £1/2bn in 2022.

To facilitate Utopia’s growing operations, DP World is fitting out a state-of-the-art, specifically designed warehouse in Bicester. The 25,000 sq metre site, equivalent in size to 10 Camden Roundhouses, will showcase technologically advanced solutions such as high-density storage and robotic transfer of product, to enable smooth and efficient distribution of over 30 million units a year across the UK and export markets.

This £100m+ contract marks a significant milestone, as Utopia doubles down on its commitment to physical music and video, ensuring a future-facing home for its distribution arm, Utopia Distribution Services (UDS).  Stock will be moving from UDS’ current warehouse in Aylesbury (inherited from Cinram whose assets Utopia acquired in 2022), to the new facility across the summer.

17.3m physical albums were sold in the UK in 2022 – 67.1% of which were CDs (BPI). As vinyl continues its 16-year-long rise, last month, HMV announced plans to return to its original flagship store in London’s Oxford Street and UMG’s Q1 2023 report notably highlighted strong growth of 32% for physical music YOY. The physical video market also shows excellent standing, with £209m in UK revenues reported last year (ERA).

All jobs have been secured, with Utopia running a shuttle from Aylesbury to the new site, just 15 miles away. With more capacity for product and online orders no longer needing to travel to a retailer’s warehouse on the way to the consumer, distribution is becoming more efficient, resulting in less impact on the environment.

Drew Hill, VP of Distribution Services, Utopia Music, said “With physical music showing its resilience over and over again in recent times, we are delighted to be doubling down on our commitment to the sector with this £100m+ commitment. With state-of-the-art facilities, robotics and increased capacity at the new warehouse, we can’t wait to capitalise on this expansion for both our clients and customers.”

Rashid Abdulla, CEO and MD Europe, DP World, commented “This contract is a significant step in our journey as we expand our logistics offerings in the UK, and we are excited about working with Utopia in a fast-growing industry. We see this as a great opportunity to realise our investment in the best technological innovations to build agile, streamlined, and sustainable supply chain solutions that can respond to ever-changing challenges whilst minimising costs and reducing environmental impact.”

Sophie Jones, BPI Chief Strategy Officer and Interim CEO added: “This landmark announcement, and the strong vote of confidence in British recorded music that it represents, also reminds us that music on physical format continues to thrive and remains an important part of how music is made, distributed and enjoyed alongside streaming.  We wish every success to this new endeavour, and the boost it will give to music consumption, jobs and exports.”

Kim Bayley, CEO of digital entertainment and retail association ERA, welcomed the move on behalf of the UK’s more than 3,000 physical entertainment stores and home delivery retailers. “Despite the growth of streaming, physical formats are still an essential element if you want to have a hit album or video. We welcome this substantial vote of confidence in entertainment’s physical future. Utopia have proven themselves to be collaborative partners. Such a massive move is never without risk, but we will be working closely with all sides to attempt to minimise any teething problems.”

The new facility joins Utopia’s other warehouses in Dartford operated by Proper Music Group, further strengthening its position in the physical distribution sector.

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DP World in the UK

DP World exists to make the world’s trade flow better, changing what’s possible for the customers and communities we serve globally.  With a dedicated, diverse and professional team of more than 103,000 employees spanning 75 countries on six continents, DP World is pushing trade further and faster towards a seamless supply chain that’s fit for the future.

What’s more, we’re reshaping the future by investing in innovation. From intelligent delivery systems to automated warehouse stacking, we’re at the cutting edge of disruptive technology, pushing the sector towards better ways to trade, minimising disruptions from the factory floor to the customer’s door.

DP World is at the heart of Britain’s trading future, providing the right trading infrastructure and smart logistics solutions for our customers. We believe in the UK market and have the ambition and resources to boost growth, support businesses, create jobs and improve living standards.

We have created a high-quality integrated business – two deep water ports with freight rail terminals at London Gateway and Southampton, a rapidly expanding logistics park, and an advanced software business providing online links to customers and border control.

About Utopia Music 

Utopia Music is a Swiss-based fintech company with world class music distribution capabilities serving the music industry worldwide.

Utopia’s purpose is to support the growth of the music industry by developing innovative, data-based solutions in partnership with the entire music value chain. Through state of the art Platform technology, Utopia aims to upgrade the financial infrastructure of the music industry and increase the accuracy and transparency of royalty payments. This means more money, faster and more accurately, to copyright holders – or what we call, ‘Fair Pay for Every Play’.

Utopia Music’s distribution companies provide world-class physical and digital distribution, reaching 5,800 labels. Comprising award winning companies Absolute Label Services and Proper Music Group, and UDS (formally Cinram Novum). Utopia’s distribution services not only increase the reach of music, but provides deeper insights into sales and performance thanks to the simple and clear access to distribution data.

Utopia Music

Utopia was founded in 2016 with the goal of creating a better world of music.