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Artist First acquires 51% stake in digital media agency Officine Orange

New Partnership Launches with ‘Fankey’ PWA Initiative

Italian distribution company and record label Artist First has announced the acquisition of a 51% stake in Milan-based digital agency Officine Orange.

Following the recently announced purchase of a significant shareholding in renowned live booking agency Colorsound, this new announcement represents the next stage in the company’s ambitious growth strategy.

Founded in 2010 by Alessandro Fabozzi and Diego Jirillo, Officine Orange specializes in offering products and services for companies in the digital marketplace including web development, web marketing, social media management and online advertising. The company counts Samsung, Mercedes-Benz and Adidas alongside other major brands among its existing clients .

Artist First was launched by Claudio Ferrante in 2009 and has 50 employees in Milan with offices in London, overseen by respected industry veteran Charlie Rapino. The company works with numerous successful Italian artists alongside a number of high-profile international acts. Artist First also distributes a wide range of labels and has in its own roster, which includes Gazzelle, Fulminacci, Alfa, Dardust and Zero Assoluto among others. The company also has a significant shareholding in 432 Srl, the management company led by Alessandro Fabozzi that represents Italian artists Le Vibrazioni, Francesco Gabbani Mace, Dolcenera and Irama.

This new partnership is being launched with an innovative initiative called ‘Fankey’, a fan-focused platform currently in Beta testing, offering direct-to-fan e-commerce and already endorsed by a number of high profile Italian artists such as Francesco Gabbani.

Fankey is a Progressive Web App (PWA), a website that works like an app, replicating the advantages while providing an elegant user experience. PWAs are mobile-first, responsive, fast and secure. They have lower maintenance and development costs than apps and are not available for mass purchase in app stores. They also maximize revenues by not charging commission for in-app purchases.

Developed to allow artists to manage their fan club within a cutting-edge digital platform. Fankey allows artists to engage with their fan base, encourage participation and drive revenues thanks to a digitized reward system. An incentive is provided via ‘gamification’ with content, activities and products linked to points that unlock rewards such as merchandise , priority ticketing and more.

Claudio Ferrante, founder and CEO of Artist First said,” Although we, alongside many others, have experienced tough times over the last year or so it has not compromised our vision.
We are and will always be a people business – we believe in people. So, when my new business partner Alessandro Fabozzi introduced me to Diego Jirillo, his partner in Officine Orange, I instantly believed in him. His clarity of thought and ambition as an entrepreneur is amazing, and frankly, if I had to I would have bought a soda vending machine company just to be in business with him. Our new partnership is much more than just an acquisition. We don't do that. It is more about collaboration and the contribution and creativity that Diego and Officine Orange can bring to the A1 group. Fankey is a platform in which we strongly believe - because it represents innovation in its purest form. It is an evolution of the fan club concept, which harnesses new digital technologies and the growing need for contact and interaction between artists and fans. It is the perfect project to launch this new partnership.”

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