A South Birmingham firm which helps record labels and artists sell their music online has signed a £250,000 deal with a Belgian entertainment group.

Digital Animal, based in Moseley, is working in partnership with the [PIAS] Entertainment Group.

The collaboration came about after it took part in the media event MIDEM in France at the beginning of the year thanks to financial support from UK Trade & Investment.

Digital Animal works with more than 200 record companies, independent labels and artists to provide them with managed marketing services and own-branded music retail websites.

The firm’s services mean clients can communicate with buyers directly and keep control of their marketing.

Founder and business development director Chris Thompson said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer e-commerce solutions to Europe’s most important independent artists and labels through [PIAS].

“The overall benefit to [PIAS] is that it will own the relationship with the fan and be able to predict the average revenue per fan per year as a result.

“This will be a vital tool to help [PIAS] to work out accurate business projections for the future.

“The partnership is worth at least £250,000 to Digital Animal per year – possibly much more, depending on how the artists’ fan base increases over time.”

Digital Animal will provide online marketing and e-commerce services for [PIAS]’s labels and artists to sell audio products, merchandise and tickets.

The online stores will include multi-territory billing, pre-orders, SMS payments and a full content management system enabling the complete control of pricing and product offerings.

Mr Thompson said he was delighted with the firm had benefited from working with UK Trade & Investment.

“We have worked with our international trade adviser, Steve Cunnane, since the company was established in 2004, firstly through the Passport to Export scheme for new exporters and more recently through the business and professional services cluster and gateway to global growth.

“There is a worldwide market for our services and UK Trade & Investment is helping us to reach this.”

Digital Animal has seven employees and uses a pool of freelancers as required. Approximately 40 per cent of its annual turnover comes from export business.

International trade adviser Steve Cunnane, based at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who is UK Trade & Investment’s West Midlands lead for the business and professional services cluster, said: “I have worked with Digital Animal from the early days of the business.

“Although the principal credit for success in international markets clearly belongs with the company, I feel that the Birmingham international trade team has helped to provide focused support in their key priority export markets.”