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Norwegian music industry’s export facilitator and promotional organisation.

Phonofile open office in USA

By Carl Kristian Johansen Posted: 20. Jun, 2016

Trond Tornes, Greg Vegas and Erik Brataas

Greg Vegas will be Phonofile’s label manager in New York City

Norwegian company Phonofile AS is a digital distribution partner for record labels, recording artists and distribution companies. Phonofile have offices in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and London.

Last week Phonofile announced their latest expansion, an office in New York City which will be run by Greg Vegas. The expansion was announced at a reception at the Norwegian Consul General’s residence in New York during A2IM Indie Week Jun 14th.

Vegas will assist Phonofile’s labels plan their US strategies and sales of their catalogue in the US. Vegas has years of experience from  the industry. He comes to Phonofile as an A&R at PIAS in New York, and has previously worked for several labels and digital distribution and he has helped several Nordic artists establish in the US.

– As a company we must follow artists and labels into this big market. This is also about creating a Norwegian entry to the US rather than selling out the rights that are in Norwegian hands. This is important as we want the local industry to grow in terms of finance and expertise, and we want to contribute and facilitate this development, says Erik Brataas, CEO of Phonofile AS.

– The flow of the music industry has always gone from the Anglo-American market to the Nordic. We are finding a way back in the opposite direction, and Greg is good to understand what it takes. Networking is not the problem, but presence is a challenge and we solve that with Greg, says Trond Tornes, marketing manager in Phonofile.

A reasonable first step
With the New York office Phonofile will establish a threshold for what kind of resources needed to be present in the US over longer periods of time.

– Phonofile already has artists that do well in the US, says Vegas.

– And we set up the next step. US is a very complex market and we can offer the right tools to be noticed and heard. For instance, the American radio market is very different from that in Europe. It is about understanding what a reasonable first step is, and when to enter the market, says Vegas.

Investing in the US market is a huge cost.

– It’s all about doing investments at the right time in the context of radio and television exposure, and you have to be smarter as the streaming economy does not generate as much money as record sales used to do, says Vegas.

Greater professionality with presence
Vegas has worked with Scandinavian artists like Peter Bjorn and John, Loney, Dear and The Radio Dept. on management and label services and contributed to decisions on when and how to enter the United States. In addition to PIAS, Vegas has background in A.D.A. distribution, Cooperative Music and label Mom + Pop Music.

– We set up an office in London last fall, and a lot of activity has come out of it. We are able to pitch music weekly because we have a local man on the ground who understand the market. Through the office in London we have a greater professionalism in our approach to the market, says Tornes.

– We have also recently hired Johan Husby as music supervisor at the Oslo office, and it will be interesting to see how all these people and activity work together. We believe that we are on the right track when it comes to gaining deeper insight into the UK and US markets, says Brataas.

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