New markets include South Africa, Ethiopia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Senegal; with the UMG catalogue now also widely available across French-speaking territories for the first time.
African music streaming service Boomplay and Universal Music Group (UMG), a world major in music-based entertainment, have announced a new licensing agreement that will extend licensing of UMG’s global music catalogue from seven to 47 countries across the African continent, as part of an extended relationship that will benefit African musicians and talent and expand the listening experience for Boomplay users across Africa.
One of the first music streaming players in Africa, Boomplay launched in 2015 and surpassed 100m app downloads on Google Play in December 2020. Boomplay’s catalogue currently stands at more than 50m tracks and it boasts the largest repertoire of local African content globally, with 50m monthly active users (MAU).
The expanded deal follows Boomplay rival Spotify‘s recent expansion into key territories across Africa such as Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.
Boomplay says that it has given away 250m megabytes of data to users free-of-charge, so they could stream music online during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Boomplay and UMG East Africa held conferences that brought together industry stakeholders to find ways of growing and supporting the African music community even further, as highlighted by Boomplay’s announcement to commit $1m to support up-and-coming artists from the continent.
UMG’s African labels will also be supported under the new agreement including Def Jam Africa, which launched in five countries in 2020, Motown Gospel Africa, AI Records, Afroforce1 and other distributed labels including Kalawa Jazzmee, Aristokrat, Family Tree and Soulistic amongst others.
The agreement also includes artists and labels distributed via Electromode and Ingrooves Music Group within the continent.
UMG says that the agreement underscores its “ongoing commitment to support and grow Africa’s domestic music ecosystems, while also creating new opportunities for Pan-African talent to reach new audiences domestically, regionally and around the world”.
Over the past five years, UMG has opened new divisions in Nigeria, as well as establishing divisions in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco alongside UMG’s longstanding operations in South Africa.
UMG says that this presence will continue to grow throughout 2021 and beyond.
Speaking about the agreement, Boomplay’s Director of Content & Strategy, Phil Choi, said: “Since our original deal with UMG, the African music industry has seen exponential growth and made huge strides towards being the next powerhouse that it should be. We’re excited to continue partnering with the UMG team to help promote their African and international artists by bringing their catalogue to even more regions across Africa.”
Franck Kacou, Managing Director, Universal Music Africa, who leads Universal Music Group’s activity across French-speaking Africa added: “We are excited for our artists and labels to be available now to music fans across these 25 French-speaking countries, but also to reach audiences across the rest of the continent. Africa is rich with artistic talent and musical culture and continues to inspire millions of Africans for whom music is an essential part of their daily lives. Working alongside Boomplay, we will help introduce these talents to new audiences, as the appetite for music continues to grow throughout these countries.”
Sipho Dlamini, CEO, Universal Music Group, South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, commented: “We are delighted to expand our relationship with Boomplay, who over the past few years have shown themselves to be dedicated to providing the best in music to fans across the continent. Through this extended agreement, Boomplay will now help supply improved access to the world’s largest and most diverse music catalogue to their broad user base, as we continue to introduce the best in African and international music to the rapidly growing streaming audience across Africa.”
Tosin Sorinola, Director of Artist and Media relations said: “We are very optimistic that this expansion will further embed the blossoming relationship between both parties. As a platform, we are committed to ensuring that we help artists spread their music and that our users have access to all the music they love wherever they are. This expansion will afford us an opportunity to help open up more music to our users and opportunities for artists in the new regions.”