Spotify teams up with MBC’s Shahid for six-month MENA promotion

Spotify is part of a new bundle in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, but rather than a telco contract, this partnership involves a video streaming service. Specifically, it’s a video streaming service called Shahid, which is owned by broadcasting group MBC Group. Shahid’s ‘VIP’ (premium) subscribers will be able to get six months […]

Mr Eazi reveals 30 more artists for emPawa Africa program

AfroPop star Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa is a talent incubator for artists in Africa: you may remember us writing about it in July 2019, when he inked a partnership with YouTube to support his latest cohort of Nigerian artists. Now he has named the latest 30 artists taking part in the program, who’ll all receive a $10k grant […]

Label Sahel Sounds uses WhatsApp to source music from Africa

US independent label Sahel Sounds is releasing a series of compilations of music from African artists, called ‘Music from Saharan WhatsApp’. The title is the clue to the digital twist: musicians are sending their tracks to label boss Chris Kirkley via WhatsApp, often just days before the album they appear on is released. The project […]

Global music streaming: ‘We are just on the tip of the iceberg of what this will become’

“I think it’s good that we have a lot of players in the market, because it means we all get better… The streaming landscape, and particularly for us the audio landscape, will continue to grow. We are just on the tip of the iceberg of what this will become.” Cecilia Qvist is global head of […]

Deezer signs deal to offer direct telco billing in MENA region

Deezer’s ambitions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continue. The streaming service has announced a partnership with mobile technology firm Mondia which will help people pay for Deezer in the region. The deal involves ‘direct carrier billing’ so that people can pay for a Deezer subscription through their mobile bills. “One of the main […]

Sound Royalties backs Wyclef Jean’s Carnival World Music Group

Fugees and solo star Wyclef Jean has founded a music publisher and distributor that will focus initially on working with songwriters and artists in Africa. It’s called Carnival World Music Group, and now it has some financial backing from music-investment firm Sound Royalties. That company is better known for its business offering royalty advances to […]

Deezer signs its first telco deal in the MENA region

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is one of the regions – like Latin America – where Deezer sees an opportunity to compete strongly against its larger global rivals. A $185m funding round in August 2018 included Saudi Arabian investment fund Kingdom Holding Company and media firm Rotana Group, and was quickly followed by Deezer’s launch across the MENA […]

Sony Music is latest major label to license Boomplay in Africa

African music-streaming service Boomplay now has a full set of deals with the global major labels, with Sony Music the third and final major to strike an agreement. Sony’s catalogue of both African and international artists will now be available to stream on Boomplay, alongside material from Universal Music (which signed its deal with the […]

Most Wanted: Music report – Scott Cohen, diversity, Africa and more

In Berlin, talk around music usually takes two paths: techno or the blockchain, and both involve a lot of earnest nodding. At the Most Wanted: Music 2019 conference, conversation was nudged towards the creation of new value streams, pushing for meaningful diversity, and embracing change in an age that demands it. The post Most Wanted: […]

CISAC report reveals growth in global music collections

CISAC, the global collecting-societies body, has published its annual ‘Global Collections Report’ setting out the collections of its 239 members in more than 120 countries. As ever, it’s a useful counterpart to the IFPI’s annual Global Music Report: while that publication focuses on recorded-music royalties, the music section of CISAC’s report quantifies collections for songwriters […]

African music-streaming service Boomplay now has 53m users

Boomplay has become one of the most prominent music-streaming services to have launched in Africa, and now it has announced a new figure for its growth. It now claims to have more than 53 million users, up from 42 million in April this year, when the company raised a $20m funding round. Boomplay also says that […]

African telco MTN has high hopes for MusicTime music service

MTN in Africa has been one of the telcos most engaged with music in recent times. It started offering Tidal to its customers in Uganda through a bundle partnership announced in August 2018, then in November it acquired streaming service Simfy, which although defunct in Europe since 2015 had continued to exist in Africa. In December, MTN used […]

African streaming service Playfre wants to raise $500k-$1m

Nigerian music-streaming service Playfre launched earlier this year, although rather than licensing music directly, it was more of a curatorial/social layer on top of YouTube, from which its music is sourced. CEO Chika Nwaogu has been talking to VentureBurn about the startup’s plans, which include the goal of raising between $500k and $1m of funding. “It will be mainly […]

YouTube and Mr Eazi team up to help emerging Nigerian artists

YouTube is already the most significant digital platform for Afrobeats artists looking to build their global audiences. Now the service has teamed up with Nigerian artist Mr Eazi and his emPawa Africa incubator to provide direct support for 10 emerging artists from Nigeria. The scheme will see those artists supported in recording music, making videos and getting […]

East African streaming service Smubu has 200k active users

As the big global music-streaming services continue to mull their strategies for sub-Saharan Africa, local players are springing up to stake their claim to a piece of the nascent streaming market. The latest is Smubu, a music-streaming startup headquartered in Kenya, but focusing on a group of countries including Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. It has […]

South African music-streaming app My Muze reaches 1m downloads

South African telco Vodacom’s My Muze music-streaming app has been downloaded more than 1m times since its launch in April this year. Those downloads have come on Android alone, although the service is available in a web-browser version for Apple devices, according to the Financial Mail. It also reported on how Vodacom has been pricing the […]

Afriquency launches Africa-focused music-streaming playlists

A team working within African music distributor Africori has launched a series of playlists for global streaming services, which focus on music from Africa. The team is Afriquency, and its playlists include Afro Fresh Friday, Afro Vybz, La Fête (focusing on Francophone African music) and The New Collective (which focuses on emerging artists. “Africa is […]

Afrobeats star Tiwa Savage signs global deal with UMG

Universal Music wants to build its business in Africa: that’s been clear for some time now. In July 2018 it announced an expansion in French-speaking Africa with a brief to sign up emerging artists there, as well as launching Universal Music Nigeria as a hub for its expansion in western Africa. There too, signings were a key part of […]

TuneCore reaches $1.5bn payouts, cites YouTube and Africa growth

Music distributor TuneCore has hit its latest milestone: $1.5bn of distribution revenue for its independent artists. That’s after earnings of $83m in the first quarter of 2019, up 21% year-on-year. This follows a 28% increase (to $308m) for TuneCore’s distribution income in 2018 as a whole. The company noted that YouTube monetisation showed particularly encouraging […]

UMG licenses to uduX, a new Nigerian music streaming service

Yesterday we reported on music streaming service Boomplay raising $20m to expand across the African continent having signed a licensing deal with Warner Music Group last month. Now uduX, a new streaming service based in Nigeria, has signed its first licensing deal with a major label – Universal Music Group. (UMG was also the first […]

Warner Music signs licensing deal with Boomplay in Africa

Warner Music Group has become the second major label to sign a direct licensing deal with African digital-music service Boomplay, following Universal Music’s deal in November 2018. WMG’s deal covers a catalogue of 1m songs for 10 countries: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Boomplay will make the music […]

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