Boomplay and Universal Music Group have extended their licensing agreement for UMG’s global music catalogue from seven to 47 countries across the African continent.
The growing partnership with Boomplay, the leading music streaming and download service based in Africa, will benefit African musicians and talent and expand the listening experience for users across Africa for both domestic and international talent.
In 2018, UMG became the first major global music company to license music to the service, which has continued to grow its audience reach and influence across Africa in recent years. Boomplay’s catalogue currently stands at more than 50 million tracks and it boasts the largest repertoire of local African content globally, with 50 million monthly active users.
As one of the first entrants in Africa, Boomplay has been at the forefront of the music streaming market since 2015. In December 2020, Boomplay surpassed the 100 million app downloads milestone on Google Play.
Boomplay has supported numerous African artists across a variety of projects, including UMG-signed Tiwa Savage with her debut performance of 49-99 in Lagos. Boomplay also invested in the first documentary film focused on the history of Afrobeats.
Boomplay gave away 250 million megabytes of data to users free of charge, so they could stream music online during the Covid-19 pandemic. The platform and UMG East Africa held conferences that brought together industry stakeholders to find ways of growing and supporting the African music community even further, alongside the commitment of $1 million to support up-and-coming artists from the continent.
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, MD, Universal Music Africa, said: “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.”
Over the past five years, UMG has expanded operations across the continent, opening new divisions in Nigeria, as well as becoming the first major music company to establish divisions in Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco alongside UMG’s longstanding operations in South Africa. This presence will continue to grow throughout 2021 and beyond, with UMG stating that it continues to further extend the company’s ability to support domestic artists on the ground across Africa and globally.
Sipho Dlamini, CEO, Universal Music Group, South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa (pictured), said: “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, Boomplay’s director of artist and media relations, added: “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.”
Boomplay users will now have access to UMG’s extensive catalogue of both local and global recording artists and labels including: Tiwa Savage (Nigeria), Nasty C (SA), Mi Casa (SA), Sauti Sol (Kenya), Cassper Nyovest (SA), Toofan (Togo), Tekno (Nigeria), Suspect 95 (Cote d’Ivoire), Brenda Fassie (SA), Tenor (Cameroon), Black Coffee (SA), Dena Mwana (DRC), Singuila (DRC), Locko (Cameroon), Hugh Masekela (SA), Charlotte Dipanda (Cameroon), Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania), Alpha P (Nigeria), Tomi Owo (Nigeria), Cysoul (Cameroon), Major League Djz (SA), Fior De Bior (Cote d’Ivoire), Larry Gaaga (Nigeria), Prince Kaybee (SA) alongside international UMG artists.
UMG’s African Labels will also be supported under the new agreement, including Def Jam Africa, the continent’s first label dedicated entirely to African hip-hop, afrobeat and trap music which launched in five countries in 2020; and Motown Gospel Africa, AI Records, Afroforce1 and other distributed labels including Kalawa Jazzmee, Aristokrat, Family Tree and Soulistic. The agreement also includes artists and labels distributed via Electromode and Ingrooves Music Group within the continent.
Recent projects include the release of Rhythms Of Zamunda: Music Inspired By Coming 2 America. The 16-track Def Jam Africa compilation traces a musical roadmap through Western, Eastern, and South African soundscapes, introducing listeners to some of the continent’s most exciting artists.