Beggars Group has parted ways with Warner Music Group’s Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), making the switch to North Carolina-based distributor Redeye for U.S. physical distribution.
The U.K. label group is joined by fellow indies Domino Recording Co. and Saddle Creek, which have also moved their distribution to Redeye, effective Jan. 1.
Beggars Group — one of the world’s largest indie label groups — is home to 4AD, Matador Records, Rough Trade, Young Turks and XL Recordings, with an artist roster that has included Radiohead, FKA Twigs and Adele. Domino, also founded in the U.K., is home to the likes of Blood Orange and Arctic Monkeys, while Saddle Creek, based in Omaha, Neb., has counted Bright Eyes and The Mynabirds among its roster.
“Redeye prides itself on our relationships with our customers and label partners,” said Redeye co-founder Glenn Dicker. “Over the years, we have looked at the Beggars Group as the gold standard of what could be achieved by an independent company with hard work and dedication to artists and music. Additionally, Domino and Saddle Creek are among the many great labels we’ve stayed connected to over the years so we’re proud to now have them all as part of the family.”
The switch comes at the end of a challenging year in the U.S. distribution sector. In April, Warner moved its physical product to Indiana-based fulfillment house Direct Shot Distributing (DSD), making DSD — which now has contracts with Universal and Sony — one of the country’s largest distributors of physical music. But ever since, retailers have complained that new release shipments don’t arrive on time, arrive incomplete or are sent to the wrong stores altogether, among other issues.
In a statement, Beggars chairman Martin Mills explained that because “physical is such a small and decreasing part of the majors’ business,” it made more sense for the indie label group to partner with an indie distributor instead.
“Beggars works with great, fully independent distributors everywhere else in the world, and believes in bringing the advantages of our scale to the sector,” he continued. “Much as we’re sorry to leave ADA, with whom we’ve had incredible success, we’re very happy to be fully independently distributed at last in the USA.”
Added Beggars president Matt Harmon: “As George Harrison once sang, ‘All Things Must Pass.’ While our relationship with ADA has ended, we leave with feelings of close camaraderie and the memories of so many impossible successes that we have shared over the last 20-plus years. At the same time, we are massively excited for our relationship with our new physical distribution partner Redeye. Their enthusiasm for the music is infectious. We look forward to working together to bring that music to the fans for years to come.”
Domino managing director Kris Gillespie commented that “It’s been impressive to watch how Glenn Dicker, [Redeye president] Tor Hansen, and the Redeye team have grown the company over the past decade, and we’re very excited to be starting the new one with them as our distribution partner.”
Saddle Creek co-founder Robb Nansel said “Redeye feels like the right place for us to be. With a staff that is clearly made up of music fans and creators, we are excited to be a part of the independent community at Redeye and we look forward to growing together in the future.”