Two Swedish media providers officially joined forces in late April 2023, as localization company Firstlight Media merged with technology company June. The combined company is now known as JuneFirst.
JuneFirst’s CEO and Partner, Katarina Svensson, told Slator the collaboration between the two companies started around a year and a half earlier when Firstlight Media was acquired by Summerseason, a holding company that also already owned June. The companies first aligned workflows, technology, and customer journeys before completing their merger on April 25, 2023.
Prior to its acquisition by Summerseason, Firstlight Media was owned by its Founder, Martin Königsmark. According to the Slator 2023 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI), Firstlight Media generated revenues of SEK 27.3m (USD 2.6m) in 2022, growing by an impressive 45% from the previous year.
Königsmark has assumed the role of EVP Localization and Content Services for JuneFirst — and is also the CEO of Summerseason Holding AB. Johan Middlemiss LéMon, a former Partner at June, has taken on the role of EVP Tech & Business Development at JuneFIrst. The combined organization has 32 full-time employees (FTEs).
Svensson explained the rationale behind the merger as enabling JuneFirst “to offer an end-to-end solution in localization and content services for broadcasters and streamers” and to benefit from synergies as well as an overlapping customer base and target audience.
Although Svensson declined to share any financial information relating to the transactions, she described the position of each company as “very healthy” and said there had been a “great increase in business” since the merger.
60% Localization, 40% Content
Asked to outline the role of localization in JuneFirst’s wider offering, Svensson said “Localization is closely intertwined with other services provided by JuneFirst.” The company provides end-to-end services to broadcast, streaming, and media customers, from content creation and management to localization and distribution.
According to Svensson, the company’s primary customer base includes broadcasters and streamers, but it is seeing “an increase in requests from other industries such as financial, telecom, and public service for their SoMe [social media] and online content.”
Localization services account for around 60% of JuneFirst’s business, while 40% is derived from content services, but the two are closely integrated. For example, Svensson explained, JuneFirst’s localization services integrate with content management solutions, ensuring that “localized versions of content are stored, organized, and more easily accessible to clients.”
Meanwhile, technology services “support the localization process by managing assets, metadata, and media workflows effectively.” The company also offers distribution services, delivering subtitled videos, dubbed versions, and localized media files to target markets through various distribution channels.
JuneFirst operates within the thriving media localization supply market in the Nordics, which also includes the likes of Plint, Voicearchive, and LinQ Media Group. Svensson described the Nordic localization market as “a mature market but with many acquisitions and mergers on the LSP side with a focus on technology and broader service offer.”
The world’s largest media localization provider, Iyuno, also has a significant Nordic presence, e.g., through its acquisition of Sweden-based BTI.
With JuneFirst’s expansion into neighboring Finland, Norway, and Denmark underway, Svensson said trading so far in 2023 has been “altogether very good, but it has been bumpy hence all the acquisitions, mergers, and consolidations where there has been constant stop and play.”