PIAS Acquires Australia's Inertia Music

Inertia Music co-founders Ashley Sellers and Justin Cosby with Inertia Music CEO Colin Daniels.

European independent powerhouse PIAS is ramping up its activities Down Under with the acquisition of Inertia Music, one of Australia’s top indie record labels and distribution companies. 

Through the new arrangement, PIAS will snap-up Inertia Music and the representation of the artist and label roster of the PIAS Group in Australia will be taken over by Inertia with effect from April 1. 

The new partnership sees Inertia remain indie and, PIAS assures in a statement, will further both companies’ commitment to the Australian and New Zealand independent music markets. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Established in March 2000 as a cutting-edge label and a distributor of fine tunes from overseas, Sydney-based Inertia expanded as it matured by offering a suite of services to artists and labels across sales, marketing, publicity, touring and merchandise.

Inertia today represents a slew of cool acts from Sia to M83, Tycho, Bonobo, Big Scary, Bjork and many more.

Not part of the new deal are the other companies in the Inertia Group, which include publisher GaGa Music, live music promoter Handsome Tours and Fairgrounds Festival and Collective Artists.

On the personnel side, Colin Daniels will continue to oversee Inertia Music as CEO, while the current staff structure will remain unchanged, notes a statement issued Monday (Jan. 23) by PIAS. Co-founders Ashley Sellers and Justin Cosby are expected to remain on board and both parties stress that its “business as usual” for all of the labels and artists currently working with the company.

“Inertia's mission has always been to empower artists independently, a vision and passion that we share with PIAS,” comments Sellers in a statement. “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.”

PIAS, which was founded in 1982 by Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot, has been on its own growth spurt in recent years. The company announced a new global plan last year, follows its purchase of classical, jazz and world music specialists Harmonia Mundi. PIAS also beefed-up its U.S. presence in early 2016 with the launch of a new Los Angeles office, new hires in New  York and a renewed U.S. sales and distribution agreement with RED. 

It's one big happy indie music family, say Gates and Lambot. “We are very excited to have Ashley, Justin, Colin and the whole Inertia team joining the PIAS network and family. 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 PIAS founders note. "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, say Gates and Lambot, will "make a true difference for the independent community in Australia and New Zealand.”