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.