UMG has been a minority investor in Ingrooves since 2006, and is thought to currently hold approximately 20% in the independent music distribution and marketing company.
By buying the remaining 80% in Ingrooves – which is HQ’d in Encino, Los Angeles – UMG will gain sole control of the firm’s approximate 2% market share in the United States.
Ingrooves was initially believed to be up for sale in the first half of last year, with an asking price in the region of $100m.
Following the Universal acquisition, Ingrooves Chief Executive Officer Bob Roback will continue to lead the company as a standalone unit within UMG.
The buyout is expected to close before the end of the current quarter.
In a statement, UMG commented: “As a longtime partner and client of Ingrooves, UMG has a deep understanding of the company and its innovative technology and data insights, and will work closely with the Ingrooves management team to provide additional resources and expanded geographic reach.”
UMG says that, outside the US, Ingrooves will form a “strategic partnership” with Caroline International, covering distribution, marketing and label and artist services.
“WITH UMG, WE ARE GAINING THE RESOURCES, GLOBAL REACH AND TECHNOLOGY TO TAKE OUR EFFORTS TO ANOTHER LEVEL. I’M EXCITED AT THIS OPPORTUNITY AND I’M THANKFUL FOR THE SUPPORT OF BOYD AND SIR LUCIAN GRAINGE.” BOB ROBACK, INGROOVES (PICTURED)
Boyd Muir, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and President of Operations for UMG, said, “I’m thrilled to advance UMG’s long-standing relationship with Ingrooves, a company we already view as a member of our extended family.
“The continued success of the indie community is vital to the health of our industry, and through our investment in Ingrooves, we will strengthen the services we can offer to independent artists and entrepreneurs. I’m pleased to welcome Bob and his team to UMG and I’m looking forward to growing Ingrooves together.”
Bob Roback, CEO of Ingrooves, said, “This acquisition by UMG represents the very best possible outcome for Ingrooves, our employees and our artist and label partners.
“Our mission at Ingrooves has always been to provide our clients with the very best services and maximize the value of their music. With UMG, we are gaining the resources, global reach and technology to take those efforts to another level. I’m excited at this opportunity and I’m thankful for the support of Boyd and Sir Lucian Grainge.”
Since launching in 2002, Ingrooves has provided independent labels, artists and other content owners with tools that include analytics, rights management services, and marketing solutions.
The company’s Trends Now analytics platform has been likened to “Waze for music marketing” by Ingrooves chief Bob Roback.
Roback told MBW last year: “There is no shortage of data in the music industry today. The important thing is to clarify and then interpret what this data really means to a client – in a way that offers capital-efficient strategies to help them run their business.”