Stripes Group-backed Audio Network appoints Blakeston as CEO

Music library Audio Network has named Chris Blakeston as CEO. Previously, Blakeston served as COO of the company. Prior to joining Audio Network, Blakeston led Getty Images‘ video division across EMEA. Audio Network is backed by Stripes Group. 


London, UK – July 16, 2015 – Audio Network, the global music company for the media industry, has today announced the appointment of Chris Blakeston to the role of CEO.

Blakeston, who previously held the role of COO at Audio Network, will take up the position with immediate effect. He succeeds Audio Network Co-founder and CEO, Robert Hurst, who will continue to serve on Audio Network’s Board of Directors and work closely with the company, focusing on its global growth and acquisition strategy. Andrew Sunnucks will also continue in his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors, working closely with the music team.

Blakeston began his career at Audio Network as Head of Sales in 2008. He became part of the senior management team in 2012, taking up the role of Deputy Managing Director before moving into the role of COO in 2014. Prior to joining Audio Network, Blakeston headed up Getty Images video division across EMEA.

Chris Blakeston, CEO Audio Network said, “Audio Network is an incredible business and I’m both proud and excited to lead the company as it enters its next phase of growth. I would like to thank Robert for the outstanding job he’s done for over a decade, delivering many consecutive years of profitable growth and building a culture at the company that has delivered the highest standards of music content and customer service.”

Robert Hurst founded Audio Network with Andrew Sunnucks in 2001. Under his leadership, Audio Network has grown at an average CAGR in excess of 40% per annum, becoming an award winning global music group. Prior to co-founding Audio Network, Hurst worked in music publishing with Boosey & Hawkes, building upon his earlier commercial experience with PriceWaterhouse, Cable & Wireless Plc and the media group Pearson Plc.

Robert Hurst said
“Since its incorporation in July 2001 Audio Network has grown organically from a bootstrapped start-up into a profitable worldwide music company. Chris and his management team will have primary accountability for managing the group’s operations worldwide whilst driving further organic growth opportunities both domestically and internationally. I now look forward to working with Chris and our Board on strategic projects and to evaluate potential acquisition growth opportunities.”

The Audio Network Group continues to be majority owned by its Founders, Management and Composers.

About Audio Network:
With a catalogue of well over 90,000 original music tracks, Audio Network offers a complete music solution by cutting through the traditionally complex and costly processes of licensing music. All high quality tracks are pre-cleared for multiple formats, for the world, forever through their website at

During July 2013 Stripes Group, a leading New York based technology and consumer-focused growth equity firm acquired a significant minority shareholding in the Company.
Listed as one of the UK’s fastest growing companies in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the Sunday Times Profit Track 100 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and the Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 in 2015, Audio Network also received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation (Technology) in 2008 and again in 2012 for International Trade.

The company has grown its composer team, music catalogue and revenue from its music services every year since its incorporation in 2001.

About Stripes Group:
Based in New York City, Stripes Group is a leading growth equity firm that invests in Internet, Digital Media, Software and Branded Consumer Products businesses around the world. For over a decade, Stripes Group has been partnering with market-leading companies with proven business models that are generating exceptional growth. For more information on Stripes Group, visit