The Italian sales company and the record label Artist First have acquired a 51% stake in the Milan-based digital agency Officine Orange.
Today’s news follows the company’s recently announced purchase of a 30% stake in live booking agency Colorsound.
Officine Orange was founded in 2010 by Alessandro Fabozzi and Diego Jirillo and specializes in providing products and services for businesses in the digital market, including web development, web marketing, social media management and online advertising.
The company has Samsung, Mercedes-Benz and Adidas among its existing customers, along with other major brands.
This new partnership starts with an initiative called “Fankey”, a fan-centric platform that is currently in beta testing and offers direct e-commerce for fans. With Fankey, artists can connect with their fans and generate income using a digitized reward system.
According to Artist First, the platform is already supported by a number of well-known Italian artists such as Francesco Gabbani.
Fankey is described as a Progressive Web App (PWA), a website that works like an app. According to Artist First, PWAs are “mobile, responsive, fast and secure”.
Founded in 2009 by Claudio Ferrante, Artist First employs 50 people in Milan with offices in London, overseen by respected industry veteran Charlie Rapino.
The company works with numerous successful Italian artists along with a number of high-profile international acts. Artist First also sells a wide range of labels and has its own list that includes Gazzelle, Fulminacci, Alfa, Dardust and Zero Assoluto, among others.
The company also has a significant stake in 432 Srl, the management company headed by Alessandro Fabozzi, which represents Italian artists Le Vibrazioni, Francesco Gabbani Mace, Dolcenera and Irama.
“Our new partnership is much more than just an acquisition. It’s more about collaboration and the contribution and creativity that Diego and Officine Orange can make for the A1 group. “
Claudio Ferrante, artist first
Claudio Ferrante, Founder and CEO of Artist First, said: “Although we have had tough times along with many others over the past year, this has not affected our vision.
“We are and will remain a people business – we believe in people. When my new business partner Alessandro Fabozzi introduced me to Diego Jirillo, his partner at Officine Orange, I immediately believed in him.
“His clarity on his thoughts and ambitions as an entrepreneur is amazing, and frankly, if I had to, I would have bought a vending machine company just to do business with him.
Ferante added: “Our new partnership is much more than just an acquisition. We do not do that. It’s more about collaboration and the contribution and creativity that Diego and Officine Orange can make for the A1 group.
“Fankey is a platform that we firmly believe in – because it represents innovation in its purest form.
“It is a further development of the fan club concept that uses new digital technologies and the growing need for contact and interaction between artists and fans. It’s the perfect project to start this new partnership with. “Music business worldwide