News January 30, 2017

Europe’s [PIAS] acquires Inertia Music

Europe’s [PIAS] acquires Inertia Music

Image: (L to R) Ashley Sellers, Justin Cosby, Colin Daniels

Dynamic European indie music company [PIAS] has expanded its activities in Australia by fully acquiring Sydney-based music sales, distribution and label services company Inertia Music. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Like [PIAS], Inertia runs a record label (Sia, Bjork, Robyn, M83, Tycho, Bonobo, Big Scary) and offer distribution services to labels such as 4AD, Fat Possum, City Slang, Dead Oceans, XL Recordings and Secretly Canadian.

There’ll be no staff changes at Inertia (it has 19 listed on its website), and CEO Colin Daniels will continue to oversee operations. Co-founders Ashley Sellers and Justin Cosby will still be involved.

[PIAS] co-founder and CEO Kenny Gates said, “[PIAS] and Inertia share the same values and vision for our industry and that is why our new partnership is such an obvious and natural fit.

“The combined offering of the [PIAS] network and Inertia’s expertise and experience will make a true difference for the independent community in Australia and New Zealand. The attention, the focus and the investment we both put into the artists and labels we represent is our raison d’etre.

“Over and above the focus we both have for building a strong and prosperous business, we believe there is a heartbeat that pulses through our shared passion for music.

“The combined offering of the [PIAS] network and Inertia’s expertise and experience will make a true difference for the independent community in Australia and New Zealand.”

Inertia was set up in March 2000 by Sellers and Cosby at the dawn of the “new model” of music companies. It expanded from signing progressive, trendy acts to offering sales services, marketing, publicity, touring and merchandise. Inertia has an estimated turnover of $15 million a year.

The [PIAS] deal does not include Inertia Group’s other divisions including Fairgrounds Festival, Handsome Tours, Gaga Music and Collective Artists.

Sellers explained, “Inertia’s mission has always been to empower artists independently – a vision and passion that we share with [PIAS]. This partnership will plug Inertia Music’s existing operations into the world class services offered by [PIAS], strengthening our connection with the international stage for our incredible roster of local artists.”

From April 1, Inertia will take over the representation of the artist and label roster of the [PIAS] Group in Australia, a joint venture with Mushroom Group. Its success stories include Faith No More, Band Of Skulls, Dinosaur JR, Enter Shikari, First Aid Kit, Interpol, Morcheeba, Temples, Tiësto and The Darkness.

Although [PIAS] is headquartered in London, it was founded in Belgium 35 years ago by Kenny Gates (then 19) and Michel Lambot (then 21). They pair met in September 1981 at Lambot’s record store, Casablanca Moon. When it closed down nine months later, the pair started a company Play It Again Sam (with just €5,000) importing records from the UK and working out of the basement of Gates’ parents’ home in Brussels.

The group now has over 250 employees, with 16 offices in various global regions. Aside from Australia, they are located in the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Latin America, the United States (where last year it opened its second office in Los Angeles, in addition to New York), Canada, Poland and Eastern Europe.

The company has three core divisions: [PIAS] Recordings, that signs and develops artists, [PIAS] Cooperative, which works with labels to fund their international growth, and [PIAS] Artist & Label Services.

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