Content aggravators announce merger

Norway’s leading digital music content aggravators, Artspages and Phonofile, announce a merger of the two firms.

Norway’s leading digital music content aggravators, Artspages and Phonofile have built up their business models through aggregation, content distribution and sale of music from independent record labels and artists to Norwegian and international digital stores such iTunes, Platekompaniet and Spotify.

Phonofile was founded in 1999, and launched Norway’s first legal download service in 2002. The company features a catalog that includes most of the independent Norwegian record companies’ repertoire. Arts Pages was started in 1999 and has a predominantly Nordic repertoire.

Over the course of the last three years, each company has more than doubled its turnover. The new entity is to be named Phonofile-Arts Pages.

“The new company pack a heavier punch and be better able to make use of future opportunities,” says Erik Brataas who is general manager of the new organization, in a press release made official this week.

“With this, we intend to create a strong Nordic player who will be able to serve an international market, both in terms of distribution and technology development,” says Dagfinn Sætra, general manager of Arts Pages.

The major share holders of the merged company will be the association of independent Norwegian record labels: Fono, and Alliance Venture, a company that makes early stage investments in “emerging technology” companies in Scandinavia and the United States.

Phonofile-Arts Pages expects to sell for more than 25 million in 2010 in a digital market that, according to IFPI, grew by over 50% in Norway in 2009 and by 98% in Sweden the same year.

“We have seen that by facilitating for legal downloading, markets and earnings for both the artists and record companies can grow considerably,” says Erling Andersen, chairman of Phonofile.

“We have seen that the digital music market has risen sharply in recent years, and with exciting services such as those offered by Spotify and Platekompaniet we believe that the Nordic music market will be a very interesting one in the near future, and that we are now in the process of creating an entity that can take on a position on the international marketplace,” said Erling Maartmann-Moe, Partner, Alliance Venture.

Source: MIC Norway

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