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Sony expands merch presence with Kontraband deal

Sony Music UK has acquired London-based, full service merchandise company Kontraband, as the company continues to strengthen its foothold in the music merch world.

Kontraband has operated in the merchandising industry for almost twenty years, under the leadership of Paul Entwistle and Justin Smith.

The company works with clients including Iggy Pop, Kylie Minogue, Bombay Bicycle Club, Maximo Park, the Streets, Enter Shikari and Broadwick Live-promoted festival Field Day.

“We’re hugely excited about joining the Sony Music family,” says Entwistle. “From the very start of our conversations, there was a very clear vision about the role merchandise would play alongside their other services, so it’s a massive opportunity for us to be able to integrate as part of this.

“Kontraband’s reputation was made by approaching merchandise in an innovative and creative manner and we’re looking forward to continuing to deliver this for artists on the Sony Music roster,” adds the Kontraband director.

“Kontraband’s reputation was made by approaching merchandise in an innovative and creative manner and we’re looking forward to deliver[ing] this for artists on the Sony Music roster”

“We are continuously looking for ways to diversify our business and the acquisition of Kontraband allows us to help our artists enhance their brand and deliver new and exciting commercial opportunities,” comments Sony Music UK and Ireland chief operating officer Nicola Tuer.

The move is Sony’s second in as many months in the merchandise sector, following the acquisition of the music division of US entertainment merchandising company the Araca Group.

The music merchandising sector has boomed in recent years, with sales totalling almost US$3.5 billion in 2018. Sony’s major-label rivals Warner and Universal have also their staked their claim in the merchandise space, in the form of EMP Merchandising and Bravado/ Epic Rights respectively.

Kontraband will relocate from its office in Finsbury Park, north London, to the Sony Music headquarters in Kensington.


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