Independent distributors FineTunes and Phonofile merge

Phonofile AS and finetunes GmbH are merging in a highly significant deal for the independent digital distribution market.

Scandinavia-based Phonofile and Germany-based finetunes 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.

Phonofile and finetunes will keep their respective independent identities, and carry on with their existing teams.

The companies will however collaborate 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“, commented Erik Brataas, Managing Director of Phonofile AS.

He continued: “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 said: “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’ Henning Thieß, who designed the economic structure of the deal and the set-up.

“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 have hailed their respective ‘market-leading positions in key European markets, thanks to [our] existing local strengths in the Nordics and the German-speaking markets’.

“The collaboration will mean that our North European clients can benefit from new opportunities in the third largest market worldwide: Germany,” said Göttlich:

“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 added: “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.”Music Business Worldwide

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