Major Labels

INgrooves Buys Fontana Distribution From Universal


(UPDATED) Digital music distributor INgrooves has acquired physical music distributor Fontana from Universal Music Group.  Fontana has served as the U.S. distributor for such independent labels as Dangerbird, ECMD, Filter, Ministry Of Sound,  NastBoy, Vagrant and VP. The combined company will be renamed INgrooves Fontana.

UMG holds a minority equity stake in INgrooves, but may have been motivated to sell Fontana to raise cash, as well as to satisfy regulators eyeing Universal's $1.2 billion purchase of EMI. While divesting itself of Fontana will only reduce UMG's marketshare marginally, the company could use the sale to blunt cirticism from the independent music community upset over the world's largest music group's purcahse of EMI. No financial terms of the deal were announced.

By offering both digital and physical distribution, INgrooves joins The Orchard, which purchased TVT in part for it's physical distribution arm, Sony's RED and others who offer independent labels combined distribution services. IODA, which in 2009 Sony took a strategic stake in, Tunecore, IRIS and several smaller distrubtors remain digital only.

INgrooves Fontana will continue to work with UMG’s sales force in connection for physical sales. The new company will be run by Dave Zierler, President of INgrooves and Ron Spaulding, President of Fontana. Both will report to CEO and INgrooves founder Robb McDaniels.

MORE: The Coming Consolidation In Music Tech

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  1. Im surprised you didnt mention RouteNote when you talked about other digital only distributors. RouteNote is the leading digital music distributor in the UK and Europe and one of the major players worldwide (much bigger than IRIS).

  2. Actually, the ideals both types of distribution is dead, thanks to Adele. There’s a need for both digi/physh. to reinforce each other. I’m going to say this now, I think we need to call digital downloads a “service” instead of a “sale”. If it’s not tangible it’s not a sale.

  3. Wow. This is shameless promotion. I have never heard of (your company?) RouteNote apart from when you comment on news sites!

  4. Steven. Please stop bogging us with your worthless service. No one cares about RouteNote! And you’re not helping by promoting it and explaining to the world that its better than any other service. Because its not!

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