Kudos Records becomes the UK’s first 100% employee-owned music distribution company

Employee Ownership Association (EOA) member Kudos Records Limited has announced that it has transitioned to a 100% employee-owned enterprise.

The entire share capital of the London-based business has now been sold to a newly formed Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

As beneficiaries of that Trust, each employee automatically becomes a co-owner in the business.  As well as immediately benefiting from profit distributions, employees also have more input into the running of the company.

Kudos founder Danny Ryan will remain with the company as MD for at least the next five years, seeing it through this transition.

He said: “Kudos Records has always been committed to fostering a culture of ownership and engagement among its employees. This transition to employee ownership will further align the interests of employees with those of the business.

“I’ve also always attached great importance to having a genuinely independent distribution option for record labels. In this era of consolidation, employee ownership secures Kudos’ future as a truly independent music company.”

Ben Morris, Label Manager and Employee Trustee, added: “Kudos has always had a collaborative working environment and we aim to build on that as we enter this new chapter so that all employees will feel they have a voice in the direction of the company and a stake in its future.”

About Kudos Records

Kudos Records Limited was established in 1992 to provide “efficient and effective distribution services to a new breed of independent record label”.

Since then it has expanded to offer a range of services including digital music distribution and direct-to-customer fulfilment in addition – with all aspects handled completely in-house.

An early mover in digital, signing up as an iTunes supplier in the first wave, Kudos was also one of the first to recognise the importance of streaming.

When Spotify floated, it was the first to equitably distribute their windfall. More recently Kudos was quick to identify the importance to labels of D2C sales, building an in-house fulfilment platform which can aggregate orders from Bandcamp, Discogs, Amazon Marketplace and its own web sales.

Simon Cullwick, Director and Head of Digital, said: “The next few years may be the most challenging trading environment we have known in decades. Facing these headwinds with an enthusiastic team of co-owners will undoubtedly provide us with the competitive advantage we will need.”

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