Phonofile AS and finetunes GmbH join forces to form independent distribution powerhouse
Historic merger in independent music distribution
Phonofile AS and finetunes GmbH are joining forces in one of the most significant mergers in the history of the independent digital distribution market.
Scandinavia-based Phonofile and Germany-based finetunes, two of the most experienced digital distributors, will join forces under the collective roof of SendR SE, a holding company predominantly owned by finetunes founders Henning Thieß and Oke Göttlich, and from now including Phonofile shareholders such as FONO (Norwegian independent record labels‘ association) and NOPA (Norwegian association for music composers and lyricists). Existing Phonofile shareholders will continue as shareholders in SendR while FONO and Phonofile Executive Erik Brataas will also be represented on the board of SendR.
Under the new construct, Phonofile and finetunes will keep their respective independent identities, and carry on with business as usual and with their existing teams. The companies will however collaborate actively and benefit from each other’s strengths in different regions, enabling both companies to expand their international presence and strengthen their market position.
“After several months of talks and negotiations, we are happy to announce this important step for our companies specifically, and for the international independent community in general“, comments Erik Brataas, Managing Director of Phonofile AS. He continues: “We have over the years developed a deep respect for how finetunes have been working in their territories, and to their ethos in the approach to a more transparent music industry future, offering true mobility for up and coming independent artists and labels.”
Oke Göttlich, Managing Director of finetunes GmbH adds: “finetunes and Phonofile joining forces is a great achievement in strengthening the independent sector, made possible in large part by the strategic vision of Erik Brataas in initiating the talks, and by finetunes co-Managing Director Henning Thieß, who designed the economic structure of the deal and the set-up.” Göttlich continues: “We have for many years seen Phonofile playing a role in defining how technology should benefit independent artists and labels, with an admirable approach to transparency in practice, to analytics and to digital marketing.”
The two companies will collectively offer market-leading positions in key European markets, thanks to their existing local strengths in the Nordics and the German-speaking markets respectively.
With existing successful presences in two very different markets, the teams believe in the combining of deep understanding of the German market, the third biggest music market in the world, with the knowledge arising from Phonofile’s market leading position in the most advanced digital market in the world, and that this will benefit both companies as well as all the labels and artists they represent. Both teams have a deep knowledge and understanding of the digital market, and by combining their forces, they will further optimize both companies’ growth potential.
“The collaboration will mean that our North European clients can benefit from new opportunities in the third largest market worldwide: Germany,” say Göttlich and adds: “Erik and I have already experienced a great co-operative working relationship as board members of (independent rights agency) Merlin BV. I am confident that this fusion will be a big step forward for both companies and a big step forward for our clients.”
Brataas adds: “There will be numerous benefits, most notably due to our existing focus on different territories and the collective ambition we can offer in terms of marketing independent artists internationally. Both Phonofile and finetunes share the same strategic thinking of expanding in new markets and developing new technology and marketing instruments for artists and labels working with us, enabling them to grow through using our services.”
Phonofile (since 1999) is a digital pioneer, and the biggest of its kind in the leading Nordic markets. We strive to give independent labels and their artists an overview and knowledge in the constantly changing world of digital music. From offices in Oslo, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Copenhagen and London we distribute music from our innovative and ambitious labels to the whole world. We believe in transparency and fair compensation combined with great knowledge of the new world of digital marketing and communication, and this approach we are constantly developing into features for implementation into our tech system.
We are passionate about music, artists and labels. Since 2003 our focus has been to create fair and innovative music-driven success stories for independent labels and licensing partners. With offices in the UK, USA, France and Germany we aim to provide successful marketing solutions for our products through daily, dedicated work. Transparency and innovation are not just buzzwords but some of the main pillars finetunes as a company is built on.
SendR – through its affiliate companies – is a digital distributor and license exploitation enabler. SendR currently enables the non-physical exploitation of more than a million media assets (audio- and video-tracks) with about 450 licensees (including Apple iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, Spotify, YouTube etc.). The services offered by its affiliate companies cover the entire value chain for the digital media (esp. audio and video) contents. Thereby its affiliate companies are both provider and supplier for artists, record labels, licensed digital services providers and private consumers.