New licensing agreement will significantly boost the availability of UMG’s African and International repertoire to music fans across Africa ; New markets include South Africa, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Senegal; with UMG catalog now also widely available across French-speaking territories for first time.
Boomplay , the leading music streaming and download service based in Africa and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today 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.”
Sidiku Buari, Prof John Collins, Ken Kafui & Big Ben Honored As VGMA Titans
Yesterday at the Grand Arena in Accra, 4 distinguished personalities who have stood for excellence in their various fields in the music industry over the years were honored.
The honors came off at the ‘VGMA National Music Summit’; an event that precedes the grand ‘VGMA Weekend’ aimed at highlighting the importance of music in Ghana and the challenges facing the industry as well as the stakeholders.
The honorees were Sidiku Buari, Professor John Collins, Kenneth Kwaku Avotri Kafui and Big Ben Music. They become the first recipients of the newly curated TITAN AWARDS, a scheme to specially honor individuals and institutions of velour for their contributions to the growth and development of the Music Sector.
The four received different citations and a Plaque as part of the honor;
Alhaji Sidiku Buari was honored as the ADMINISTATOR for his meritorious service to the Ghana music industry. The award was presented by Mr. Mark Okraku Mante, Deputy Minister Designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture
Professor John Collins got his honor as MUSICOLOGIST for his meritorious service to the Ghana music industry. The award was presented by Rex Omar, Ghamro Chair.
Kenneth Kweku Avotri was recognized as MUSIC EDUCATOR for his meritorious service to the Ghana music industry. The plaque and citation was received by his Children which was presented by Mrs. Diana Hopeson.
Big Ben Music received an honor as an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & MUSIC DISTRIBUTOR for his meritorious service to the Ghana music industry. The award was presented by Fred Kyei Mensah.
The VGMA Titans Awards is a Charterhouse initiative, partnered by TV3, DStv, GHQR, Media partners and proudly brought to you by Vodafone, Together We Can!
VGMA Honours Titans Of The Music Industry On World Music Day
21st June marks world Music day; in commemoration of the day and in furtherance of VGMA22, Charterhouse introduces the 1st ever national Music Summit. The purpose of the summit is to empower players and to help better the lot of the music sector.
The day will also see the scheme present a set of new honors dubbed “VGMA TITAN AWARDS. These honors will go to four distinguished industry stalwarts with the aim of recognizing their pivotal roles in growing music in Ghana. Meet the four awardees;
SIDIKU BUARI – For Meritorious service to the Ghana music industry as an ADMINISTRATOR
In 1980, Together with Ghanaba, Joe Mensah, Fiasal Helwani, Nana Kwame Ampadu, and others, he re-established the Musician Union we have today. He facilitated the Union’s movement to the old Passport office, organized regional congresses, produced corporate music to campaign for peaceful elections, lobbied for exemption of taxes on musical instruments for musicians, training for musicians to play live music and chaired the collective Management organization of Ghana, facilitating the building of its first office.
During his lifetime as a Musician, he carried out several music industry administrative roles as Former President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (Musiga) Chairman of the Copyright Society of Ghana (Cosga) now Ghana Music Rights owners Organization (Ghamro) and Vice President of International Federation of Musicians (FIM).
PROFESSOR JOHN COLLINS – For Meritorious service to the Ghana Music Industry as a MUSICOLOGIST
As one of Ghana’s most prolific Musicologists and composers, he chronicled most of our highlife music across the decades. He also served as a Musiga Executive in the 1970’s , now a Patron of Musiga and are an honorary life-member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) in Ghana together with Professor J.H.K. Nketia and Egya Koo Nimo, our popular folk guitarist.
He served on the Ghana National Folklore Board of Trustees and Copyright Administration for seven years and are currently the acting Chairman of the Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation (BAPMAF), currently donating some of its digitized holdings to the J.H.K Nketia Archives of the Institute of African Studies.
Kenneth Kwaku Avotri Kafui – For Meritorious service to the Ghana Music Industry as a MUSIC EDUCATOR
Ken Kafui was a Ghanaian composer. He was a lecturer in music theory and composition at the music department of the University of Ghana, Legon. He composed choral works, works for choir and orchestra, symphonic works, piano and organ works, and works for traditional African instruments. He created new concepts and genres in African art music such as the Pentanata, the HD-3 form and Drumnata. He holds a Diploma in African Music and a Master’s degree in music.
He also composed for the orchestra of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation during the late 1970s. Kenneth was also a music tutor and the conductor of the Aggrey Memorial Chapel Choir at Achimota School before he moved on to the University of Ghana.
BIG BEN MUSIC PRODUCTION – For Meritorious service to the Ghana Music Industry as an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER and MUSIC DISTRIBUTOR
Big Ben Music Production is a production outfit in Ghana. A gospel label, it is run by Benjamin and Theresa Mensah, and some point had the following artistes Monica Konadu, K.K. Fosu, Vine Praises, Ofori Amponsah, Kofi Nti, Sandra Oduro, Christiana Love, Lady Prempeh, and Ohemaa Mercy. The outfit is credited as helping the Ghana music industry grow. He became one of Ghana’s top Music Executive Producers and Distributors of repute in Ghana, producing and distributing music for artistes such as Christiana love (Obaapa Christy), Ofori Amponsah, A-plus, Ohemaa Mercy, Kofi Nti, the late Daasebre Dwamena, Obrafour, and many others.
He was also the major music distributor for several of the top Industry artistes such as Batman Samini, Tic-Tac, 4×4, Daddy Lumba, Reggie Rockstone and many others.
His role as an investor in the production of music from the 80s across the decades till 2005 enabled many talented musicians get heard and were able to derive commercial gain from their talent.
The VGMA MUSIC SUMMIT is powered by Charterhouse, partnered by TV3, DStv, GHQR, Media partners and proudly brought to you by Vodafone, Together We Can!
VGMA 1ST NATIONAL MUSIC SUMMIT – MEET YOUR SPEAKERS
As part of the world music day celebration and as part of the activities lined up for the VGMA Musical June, Ghana’s biggest music awards scheme introduces the VGMA National Music Summit.
The summit is to use music as a tool to drive social change and is aimed at using education to empower players in the industry to help better the lot of the sector.
The summit is to be held with limited audience but shared with millions across the VGMA official social media channels. It starts at 10am and ends at 2pm.
The 4 hour event is meant to engage Musicians, Music Producers & Managers, Distributors of Music, Music Promoters, Media and Other Industry Players nationally to discuss core industry issues.
At the end of the dialogue, a communique on the insights, conclusions and recommendations collated from the discussions will be presented to the Ministry of Tourism & Creative Arts for consideration. There will be 3 panel discussions; Royalties – The Way Forward, Music Distribution in the Digital Era and Play it LIVE.
Starting off the conversation for Royalties- The way forward, are; Munyaradzi Chanetsa, A&R Manager, Sony South Africa. Rex Omar – Chairman Ghamro and Veteran Ghanaian musician. Abraham Adjetey, President of Ghamro. Trigmatic, is a Ghanaian award winning musician, composer, songwriter and Philanthropist. Last but not least, Cynthia Quarcoo, Managing Partner, CQ Legal & Consulting.
Leading the conversations in the Music distribution in the digital era are 3 distinguished industry players with in-depth practical knowledge in their respective field of endeavor. Chioma Onuchukwu is Head of Operations at TuneCore Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia & Ethiopia. Jefferson Seneadza CEO of Aftown – a digital sales platform. Munyaradzi Chanetsa, A&R Manager, Sony South Africa. Juan Gomez is the Head of African Content and Curation at Pandora Media.
CEO EKB Records a talent Management and Entertainment company and LIVE Music enthusiast Kiki Banson, will be heading the PLAY IT LIVE discussion. With support from Kwame Yeboah, a Ghanaian born, UK based multi-talented instrumentalist, producer and keyboard player and programmer and Beats Mechanic.
The event will be hosted by Rudy Kwakye – Executive Producer AfroNationGhana Festival.
The VGMA NATIONAL MUSIC SUMMIT is powered by charterhouse, partnered by Tv3, GHQR, KPMG, DStv, Media partners and proudly brought to you by Vodafone, Together We Can!
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