PlayNetwork Acquires Absolute Audio Systems

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

PlayNetwork, of Redmond, Washington, has expanded into the European market with the acquisition of Absolute Audio Systems Ltd., UK-based provider of commercial media products and A/V systems integration services.

PlayNetwork Inc. is a leading provider of retail in store background music, video media and digital signage, and related promotional and branding. Absolute Audio, based in Maidstone, Kent, designs, supplies, installs and maintains audio visual systems for clients across the UK and Europe.

“By acquiring Absolute Audio, we bring a new leisure client base into the mix of our global retail and hospitality customers,” says Craig Hubbell, executive vice-president of global sales and marketing at PlayNetwork. “We are committed to strengthening our business and growing PlayNetwork’s worldwide presence and this acquisition is one of many steps forward.”

The UK office will strengthen PlayNetwork’s regional client support to all of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India, by leveraging Absolute Audio’s A/V systems and service networks in Europe’s retail and leisure markets. The group will also add European creative to PlayNetwork’s comprehensive catalogue of entertainment media offerings, which include branded music, full video production, in-store/on-hold messaging, artist promotions, and retail advertising networks.

PlayNetwork Ltd. has already added several (unidentified) global clients to its media and system integration business.

“Fuelled by the goal to offer localized, regional and international support to our existing global clients, we are excited to combine resources, tools and best practices with Absolute Audio,” says Hubbell.

PlayNetwork currently supports entertainment media initiatives in 70 countries for clients such as Starbucks Coffee. This acquisition is the next step in PlayNetwork’s plan to strengthen its global footprint through strategic partnerships and acquisitions reaching new markets and audiences.

“PlayNetwork is known for its creativity and service excellence,” says Ian Graham, founder of Absolute Audio. “When this opportunity came up, our team was thrilled with the prospect of gaining access to PlayNetwork’s technology and award-winning custom programming and video production. We knew integrating with PlayNetwork would allow us to provide unique creative solutions within Europe and offer better programs to our growing client-base.”

Along with all of the Absolute Audio staff, Graham will stay on with PlayNetwork Ltd. as commercial director where he will manage the commercial team throughout the EMEA region. Dharmendra Patel, director, has also joined the Board of PlayNetwork Ltd. to oversee the integration of the acquisition and manage the expansion of PlayNetwork operations within EMEA.

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