Entertainment

Boomplay and Merlin Extend License Agreement to 47 African Countries – Billboard

Africa’s leading music streaming service Boomplay has extended its licensing agreement with Merlin, which represents licensing rights to more than 20,000 independent labels and distributors, to 47 other countries on the continent , the companies said Billboards.

Merlin and Boomplay’s first licensing agreement, reached in 2019, covers 11 African countries, including Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Countries under the new agreement include Mali, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Malawi, Burundi, Gambia, Angola, Somalia, Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Mauritius, Lesotho, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Seychelles, Sao Tome & Principe, Eswatini, Eritrea, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Togo.

Boomplay, which now has more than 60 million monthly active users and hosts more than 65 million tracks, also has licensing agreements with the three major labels. “Obviously, we hope to expand all of our existing partners in the coming years [additional] as well as territories,” said Boomplay content and strategy director Phil Choi tell Billboards.

“Merlin has identified a simple trend: as digital services expand into new markets and make members’ diverse portfolios accessible to audiences,” said Merlin COO. new, we will index the market share”. Charlie Lexton. “As a result, Merlin is always looking for partners in the region to help our members establish a presence in new markets. The expansion of our agreement with Boomplay is a reflection of that strategy and helps our members succeed as African digital markets continue to grow.”

The expansion comes as the global influence of African music continues to soar. Over the past few years, African artists include Burna boy and Wizkid, both from Nigeria, have begun to gain international fame.

“Just as the advent of digital music has made North American and European music more accessible in Africa, the same is true of African music on the world stage,” says Lexington. gender. Subscription streaming has also helped boost investment in local talent, he adds – and as a result, more independent brands and distributors in the region have also started to grow. “When those local businesses join Merlin, they join our deals, their music becomes available globally – and hopefully we see a feedback loop to then drive the investment.” invest more in local markets.”

In Africa, streaming activity has increased with smartphone penetration, Choi said. He added that the company’s partnerships with telecom companies have also eliminated certain “pain points” for African consumers, including by allowing Boomplay users to pay for subscriptions. their own without linking to a bank account or credit card (something many people on the continent do not have access to). These factors, among others, have allowed the popularity of streaming to grow at a faster rate in Africa than he expected.

“[It’s] Choi talks about expanding Merlin. “We were expecting things to happen maybe a year or two later.”

https://www.billboard.com/pro/boomplay-merlin-licensing-deal-expansion-africa/ Boomplay and Merlin Extend License Agreement to 47 African Countries – Billboard

Dais Johnston

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