Warner Music Group is investing an undisclosed sum into Africori, a digital music distribution, music rights management and artist development company that calls itself “the home of African music.”
Africori is the largest digital music distribution company in Sub-Saharan Africa, and has worked with both major and independent record labels.
With offices in Johannesburg, London and Lagos, the company has worked with more than 6,500 artists and 700 labels, and lays claim to the No.1 market share in a number of African countries.
The new deal gives Warner Music’s ADA division access to what it calls “Africa’s largest catalog and A&R network” at Africori, as well as enabling WMG to establish a presence in many African markets for the first time.
ADA says it will work closely with Africori to distribute and promote its artists internationally through Warner Music’s global network.
“THE MUSIC MARKET IN AFRICA IS STARTING TO REALLY GAIN TRACTION AND THIS DEAL MEANS WE’RE WELL-POSITIONED TO SUPPORT OUR ARTISTS AS NEW OPPORTUNITIES OPEN UP.”
YOEL KENAN, AFRICORI
It will support Africori’s distribution activities on its existing catalog – including music from artists such as Elzo Jamdong, Jux, Master KG, Nabila, Nyashinski, Pappy Kojo, Sean Tizzle, Sho Madjozi, $pacely and Yung L – as well as having a first option on international licences for all new signings.
Alfonso Perez Soto, EVP, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Warner Music, said: “I’m delighted that we’ll be working together with Africori – and Yoel Kenan in particular – as they’ve been pioneers, fighting for the interests of artists and the music industry in Africa. We can harness the power of our global network to take their great African music to a truly global audience.”
Yoel Kenan, CEO, Africori, added: “We work with incredible artists and have some extremely talented A&Rs spotting fresh new talent; it’ll be really exciting to see them tap into Warner Music’s global network.
“The music market in Africa is starting to really gain traction and this deal means we’re well-positioned to support our artists as new opportunities open up.”
Eliah Seton, President, Independent Music and Creator Services, commented: “Our global team at ADA is super excited to partner with Africori.
“There’s so much momentum and incredible music coming out of Africa at the moment. It’s not a question of if, but when we get a new global superstar from the region. So we can’t wait to get to work supporting some of Africa’s most brilliant artists on the global stage.”
Last year, Warner Music Group announced a global partnership with Nigeria-based record label Chocolate City.
And in March 2019, Warner Music Group signed a licensing deal with Boomplay, the Chinese-owned streaming and download service that covers multiple regions in Africa.
Boomplay has since inked similar deals with Sony Music and Merlin, adding to an existing agreement with Universal Music Group.
Source: Tim Ingham/Music Business Worldwide