Boomplay, the leading music streaming and download service based in Africa and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, announced a new landmark licensing agreement that will extend licensing of UMG’s global music catalog from 7 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.
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 catalog currently stands at more than 50 million tracks and it boasts the largest repertoire of local African content globally, with 50million monthly active users (MAU). The renewal and expansion of this licensing deal with UMG, will enable African music fans across the continent to experience the best in both domestic African and International talent.
As one of the first entrants in Africa, Boomplay has been at the forefront of the music streaming market since 2015 and has a deep understanding of the local market. Now the leading African platform, in December 2020, Boomplay surpassed the 100 million app downloads milestone on Google Play. During this time, Boomplay has supported numerous African artists, across a variety of projects, including: The “concert of the year” – which saw UMG-signed Nigerian singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage shut down Lagos with her debut performance of 49-99 and saw Boomplay invest in the first-ever documentary film focused on the history of Afrobeats.
Boomplay also gave away 250 million 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 $1 million to support up-and-coming artists from the continent.
This agreement underscores UMG’s 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 5 years, UMG has taken a holistic approach to expanding operations across the continent, opening new divisions in Nigeria, as well as becoming the first major music company to establish divisions in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco alongside UMG’s longstanding operations in South Africa. This presence will continue to grow throughout 2021 and beyond, as UMG continues to further extend the company’s ability to support domestic artists on the ground across Africa and globally.
Boomplay users will now have access to UMG’s extensive catalog 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 (Côte 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 (Côte d’Ivoire), Larry Gaaga (Nigeria), Prince Kaybee (SA) alongside international artists from the world’s largest music catalog including: Da Baby, Drake, Lil Baby, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Stevie Wonder, Billie Eilish, Booba, Dadju, Tasha Cobbs, Niska, Lionel Richie, Rihanna, Motown’s Catalog and Bob Marley.
UMG’s African Labels will also be supported under the new agreement including: Def Jam Africa, the continent’s first label dedicated entirely to the best in African hip-hop, afrobeat and trap music 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.
Recent projects include the release of Rhythms Of Zamunda: Music Inspired By Coming 2 America. The acclaimed 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 was released last week.
Boomplay’s Director of Content & Strategy, Phil Choi, added “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 lead’s Universal Music Group’s activity across French-speaking 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.”
Sipho Dlamini, CEO, Universal Music Group, South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, 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 catalog 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.”