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Sony further boosts merch operations through Kontraband acquisition

By | Published on Thursday 5 September 2019

Sony Music

Sony Music is further expanding its interests in good old music merch by buying London-based Kontraband. The merchandise firm will now re-locate to the major’s UK HQ in Kensington and, in addition to its existing operations, work “collaboratively with each of Sony Music’s labels and their extensive artist rosters”.

Having been way behind rival Universal Music when it comes to the merch side of the music business – Universal owning market-leading Bravado – Sony has been slowly ramping up its merchandise activities in the US of late via a division called The Thread Shop.

That unit’s American operations were recently boosted through the acquisition of the music merch business of New York theatre firm the The Araca Group. The Kontraband deal gives Sony a good presence in the music merchandise marketplace on this side of the Atlantic, with the new acquisition’s team set to work closely with the aforementioned Thread Shop.

Confirming the deal, Sony Music UK’s COO Nicola Tuer says: “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”.

Meanwhile Kontraband director Paul Entwistle adds: “We’re hugely excited about joining the Sony Music family. 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”.