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

Italian distribution and record company Artist First has acquired a 51% stake in Milan-based digital agency Officine Orange.

Today’s news follows recently announced purchase of a 30% stake in the Colorsound direct booking agency.

Founded in 2010 by Alessandro Fabozzi and Diego Jirillo, Officine Orange specializes in offering products and services to businesses in the digital market, 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 customers.

This new partnership is kicking off with an initiative called “Fankey,” a fan-focused platform currently in beta testing, offering direct e-commerce to fans. Fankey enables artists to engage with their fans and generate income using a digital reward system.

Artist First says the platform is already endorsed by a number of top Italian artists such as Francesco Gabbani.

Fankey is described as a Progressive Web App (PWA), a website that works like an app. Artist First claims that PWAs “are mobile first, responsive, fast and secure”.

Artist First was started 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 many 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 list, which includes among others Gazzelle, Fulminacci, Alfa, Dardust and Zero Assoluto.

The company also owns a significant stake in 432 Srl, the management company headed by Alessandro Fabozzi who represents Italian artists Le Vibrazioni, Francesco Gabbani Mace, Dolcenera and Irama.

“Our new partnership is more than just an acquisition. It’s more about collaboration and the contribution and creativity that Diego and Officine Orange can bring to Group A1.

Claudio Ferrante, artist first

Claudio Ferrante, Founder and CEO of Artist First, said: “Although we, along with many others, have gone through difficult times over the past year or so, it has not compromised our vision.

“We are and always will be a people company – we believe in people. So when my new business partner Alessandro Fabozzi introduced me to Diego Jirillo, his partner at Officine Orange, I instantly believed in him.

“His clarity of thought and ambition as an entrepreneur is amazing, and frankly, if I had to do that, I would have bought a soda vending machine company just to be in business with him.

Added Ferante: “Our new partnership is more than just an acquisition. We don’t do that. It’s more about collaboration and the contribution and creativity that Diego and Officine Orange can bring to Group A1.

“Fankey is a platform we firmly believe in – because it represents innovation in its purest form.

“It’s an evolution of the fan club concept, which exploits new digital technologies and the growing need for contact and interaction between artists and fans. This is the perfect project to launch this new partnership. “Music company in the world

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