Exceleration swoops for Redeye as it enters distribution and music services business

Exceleration swoops for Redeye as it enters distribution and music services business

Exceleration Music has made a substantial expansion of its operational reach with the acquisition of Redeye, the US-based digital and physical distribution and music services company. 

The acquisition also encompasses Redeye's in-house labels Yep Roc and Sundazed, and its publishing company Riff City Sounds.

Under the terms of this strategic transaction, Redeye founders Glenn Dicker and Tor Hansen have become shareholders in Exceleration Music. Dicker and Hansen will continue to lead Redeye, maintaining its existing team and infrastructure, while benefiting from the additional resources and expertise offered by the Exceleration Music partners and team. 

Redeye represents several of the world's top independent labels, in the USA and globally, including Beggars Group, Domino, New West, Yep Roc, Sundazed, Saddle Creek, Mom+Pop, Kemado/Mexican Summer, Stones Throw, Warp, Drag City, Real Gone, Innovative Leisure, Carpark, !K7, Thrill Jockey, Luaka Bop, Partisan, Sargent House, Ninja Tune, Barsuk, Daptone, Exceleration and more.

The move was described as a pivotal moment for Exceleration Music which, since its inception in 2020, has concentrated on the acquisition, production and investment in music rights. The expansion provides independent music partners of both Exceleration and Redeye with a “fully independent and well-resourced path to market, comprising worldwide physical and digital distribution, as well as label, marketing and technical expertise”.

Exceleration Music's scope of operation now consists of two divisions:

– The established label group, which comprises labels and catalogues such as +1 Records, Alligator, Mom+Pop, Kill Rock Stars, Bloodshot, SideOneDummy, Heroic, Candid Records, and now Yep Roc and Sundazed, along with a strategic partnership with the Ray Charles Foundation/Tangerine Records.

– The newly acquired distribution and label services business, which will continue to operate under the Redeye brand. The Exceleration partnership and executive team will provide additional support and resources to the existing leadership.

Exceleration is led by its group of original founders: Glen Barros (former CEO of Concord Music Group), Dave Hansen (executive chairman of Merlin and former GM of Epitaph), Charles Caldas (former CEO of Merlin), Amy Dietz (former GM of Ingrooves) and John Burk (Grammy-winning producer and former president of Concord Records).

We plan to expand Redeye’s already impressive network and to collectively help our current, and future label partners to truly thrive

Glenn Barros

Founded by Tor Hansen and Glenn Dicker, Redeye is headquartered in North Carolina and maintains a team of over 120 across 15 locations spanning the US, Europe, and Australia. The company has been wholly owned and operated by Dicker, Hansen and their team.

“The addition of Redeye, Yep Roc, Sundazed and Riff City Sounds represents an important expansion of Exceleration’s overall strategy to strengthen the independent community,” said Exceleration Music partner Glen Barros. “Redeye already provides a great service to an impressive set of first-rate indie labels looking for a distributor that can service both physical and digital channels on a global basis. 

“Together with Glenn, Tor and the Redeye team, we plan to expand Redeye’s already impressive network and to collectively help our current, and future label partners to truly thrive.”

“Working with the Exceleration team feels like expanding the family,” said Redeye co-founder Glenn Dicker. “Sharing strong ideals and a strategic vision, it feels like the next natural step on our journey towards providing our world class distribution service to an expanded independent community.”

Redeye maintains a European distribution operation in Sweden, which was acquired through its merger with Border Music in 2019, and has become established globally within independent distribution and label services.

Yep Roc is home to artists like Nick Lowe, Dave Alvin, Aoife O’Donovan, Alejandro Escovedo, Chuck Prophet and Jobi Riccio, while Sundazed is a prominent reissue label in the United States.

Exceleration views this acquisition as a means to strengthen its mission of supporting the independent music community comprehensively,” said a statement. “The deal empowers Exceleration to manage all aspects of music's journey to the streaming and physical markets, delivering fully independent worldwide distribution and label services to its labels, strategic partners, and distribution clients. The company is funded by investments from each of its partners, as well as institutional and private investors who are committed to providing the resources necessary for Exceleration to execute its strategy and mission.”

The integration of Exceleration's expanding catalogue into Redeye's systems is set to bolster their market offerings and drive additional revenue, as well providing a fully independent path to market for artists and labels.

Redeye's operational structure remains unchanged, with founders Tor Hansen and Glenn Dicker retaining their leadership roles, alongside key executives, including Michael Petkov (head of international), Jason Taylor (director of global sales – physical and digital), Laura Pittard (director of global marketing), Michael Howard (associate VP of global operations), Hank Stockard (global business development director), Sean Pecor (IT director) and Jim Trenner (global accounting director).


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