Universal Music plans Africa expansion to tap streaming growth

Universal Music Group Inc. is bolstering its presence in Africa, the place streaming and different types of music distribution are comparatively beneath developed.

The agency, majority owned by Vivendi SA, plans to construct up operations in international locations together with Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya in 2021, in accordance to the corporate’s newly appointed regional chief govt officer, Sipho Dlamini. Universal additionally has an workplace in Ivory Coast to oversee French-speaking international locations, alongside a base in Morocco for the northern nations.


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“We are thinking long term and looking to build lasting infrastructure in order to support African talent for years to come,” Dlamini mentioned in an emailed response to questions. “We want to expand the possibilities for that talent to reach new audiences around the world.”

Music firms see a possibility to develop streaming companies in Africa, as an elevated availability of smartphones and quicker web speeds allow the continent’s youthful inhabitants to develop into extra related. Universal additionally plans to entice extra African artists to the label, investing in recording services and reside music to carry them to a wider viewers, the corporate mentioned.

Recorded music revenues for Africa and Middle East grew by nearly 16% to simply over $100 million in 2019, in accordance to The International Federation of Phonographic Industry.

Universal is working with Africa’s largest telecommunications firms together with MTN Group Ltd., Vodacom Group Ltd., and Orange SA, Dlamini mentioned.

“There has never been a more exciting time for African music around the world, as it continues to influence and inspire culture and creativity, while reaching a wider audience globally each day through streaming,” he mentioned.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.


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