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Ghostly International confirms merger with Secretly Group


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Label Ghostly International is merging with fellow indie Secretly Group, in a deal that Billboard reports was delayed from earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We had poor visibility on how revenues were going to change and how the economy was going to go. It caused us to ask hard questions: Why now? Should we wait? Can we afford this? Would it be better to lay back?” Secretly’s Darius Van Arman explained. “We came back to the principle that this is fundamentally a really good partnership. It will unlock value.”

There will be no layoffs, but Secretly will be “co-integrating” Ghostly’s marketing, production and other divisions. “Secretly didn’t stop things once Covid happened. They see the long view of strengthening the independent sector,” said Ghostly CEO Sam Valenti.

Already this century we’ve seen consolidation among the major labels, and deals that have seen them snap up independents and distributors, but is this the starting gun for a new wave of indie consolidation? Perhaps not: such deals tend to be the exception in the indie world, compared to the market-share driven acquisitiveness of the majors.

Stuart Dredge

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