Universal Music Group has become the first major to license its catalog to Boomplay, a leading music streaming service in several burgeoning African markets. With this partnership, Boomplay will add tracks from UMG labels to its current catalog of two million songs, servicing 36 million-plus users in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
The licensing pact comes on the heels of the launch of Universal Music Nigeria, led by Ezegozie Eze Jr., who has been charged with accelerating the company's focus on growth across Western Africa.
"This partnership extends our reach and makes our artists’ music accessible to millions of African music lovers,"said Eze Jr. "We are delighted to be the first global music company to partner with Boomplay and look forward to bringing the extraordinary creativity of our artists to as many Africans users as possible.”
Boomplay says it is adding nearly two million new users each month, despite only being available on Android devices. An iOS app is expected to be released in the coming weeks, the company said, adding that more likeminded partnerships will be sought.
"Boomplay is determined to continue meeting the music passion point of Africans in a legitimate way, especially Boomplay users, and teaming up with a major music company in the global music industry like Universal Music Group, offers yet another significant opportunity for us to do so," commented Boomplay’s CEO, Joe He.
Earlier this year, Universal Music Group acquired, through its Dutch subsidiary, a 70 percent stake in Kenya's AI Records, giving it access to one of the world's largest catalogs of East African music. UMG says its latest expansion is part of an accelerated focus on growing the "entire African music ecosystem" across recorded music, publishing, live and brand partnerships.