National Broadcaster buys Phonofile shares

The Norwegian Broadcasting Company joins the music download race by buying a 23% stake of content aggravator and music download service provider Phonofile’s shares.

Phonofile header

Last week Phonofile AS and the Norwegian Broadcasting Company (NRK) announced NRK’s acquisition of a 23% stake of Phonofile’s stock holding. Phonofile is currently one of the most central players on the Norwegian music download market with its platform. In addition to offering its own download service, Phonofile also keeps a position as a key content aggravator for such central international outlets as iTunes and Music 24/7.

Says NRK Aktivum AS’s CEO Bjørn Suhrke in a press statement: “This is a strategic move for us and also an important initiative in the process of making NRK’s content available in new media formats. This market segment’s current development gives us a good reason to be optimistic about the future.”

In its archives, NRK keeps a considerable amount of Norwegian digital content, and the move by the broadcasting corporation represents a step towards increased domestic ownership of Norwegian repertoire. It is expected that this initiative will represent a strengthening of repertoire offered by Phonofile’s platform.

Says Phonofile board member and chairman of NOPA (the Society of Composers and Lyricists) Bendik Hofseth: “NRK’s introduction to the arena represents a historical building block in the process that leads up to a national digital music archive would be as complete as it can possibly be. This will contribute to increased domestic and international dissemination of a rich and democratic selection of Norwegian repertoire. With its unique archive and its position as a content supplier, NRK is a vital and strategic partner for Phonofile”.

Phonofile Background:

Phonofile AS is a Norwegian digital music archive and central distribution office for audio files.

The company was established in 1999, and is owned by FONO (Association of Independent Record Producers), NOPA (Association of Norwegian Composers and Lyricists), NRK Aktivum and TV2 Invest.

Currently, the database includes more than 61.977 titles across a wide spectrum of music styles and genres.

Phonofile also licenses music to third party services.

Phonofile Online (b2b):

Phonofile Online is an online database designed for professional users, and the service is in use by the two main TV-stations in Norway, several independent tv-producers, web-portals etc.

The user interface is especially designed for audio-visual producers, giving the user the ability to search on mood and genres.

Once the user have defined the search, he/she can prelisten to the music (streaming), clear rights online, and eventually download a high quality MP3 file for use in a audio-visual production.

To get access to the database the user needs a license agreement and a digital certificate issued by Phonofile. (b2c) :

Phonofile launched the consumer service on the 25th of September 2002. The site offers consumers the ability to search among over 60.000 tracks released by Norwegian record labels, listen to sound clips, and buy music as digital downloads.

On the platform, Phonofile also provides individual e-solutions for web portals and record companies. For individual record companies, Phonofile’s solution also handles sales of physical CDs and merchandise products.

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