The US-based distribution and services specialist, which comfortably turns over $100m+ a year, has always prided itself on being a technology-first operation – driven by a belief that the world of music commerce will increasingly become dominated by global digital consumption.
This focus has only intensified since Bob Roback took over as CEO in 2015.
Roback, who joined INgrooves from his role as President of guitar giant Fender, aims not only to make INgrooves’ tech systems the best in the business – but also to offer industry-leading strategic advice to the firm’s clients, which now include the likes of Dirty Hit in the UK, OneLove in Australia, and Burning Heart in Sweden.
One recent move by INgrooves epitomizes this drive: the hiring of respected expert data scientist, SK Sharma, to head up a newly-launched Insights & Analytics division.
Roback, who replaced co-founder Robb McDaniels as INgrooves boss, hopes these efforts will eventually enlighten independent labels and artists as to the best way to cut through the online noise – and outsmart their major rivals online.
Roback has also upped the impetus on making sure INgrooves has expertise on the ground in key territories, particularly those where streaming has matured to a critical level.
In Scandinavia, for example, the company recently hired Kristine Bjørnstad and Tim Dunham as co-regional managers – bringing both over from senior positions at respected Swedish indie Cosmos.
Such investment is impressing INgrooves’ key clients like London-based Dirty Hit (Wolf Alice, Benjamin Francis Leftwich), which recently re-signed its global deal with the company.
“I have been working with INgrooves since I started Dirty Hit, they have shown their commitment to helping me achieve my vision of a what a truly modern record label is for almost seven years now,” Dirty Hit founder Jamie Oborne (and A&R Award winner) tells MBW.
“I feel very grateful to have enjoyed such a trusting and progressive business relationship with Bob and his team, I’m looking forward to this next phase of commercial development.”
For Roback, that next phase is the really exciting part – because it involves cracking the code of maximizing streaming’s revenue opportunity amongst the independent sector.
MBW caught up with the exec to ask what’s next from INgrooves, what differentiates it from its rivals, how its relationship with Universal Music Group affects its operation and more besides…