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Universal Music continues its conquest of the African Market

Universal Music Group (UMG) continues its conquest of the African market, considered as the new Eldorado of music streaming.

The world's largest record company has announced the release of its rich catalog to Boomplay, one of the most popular music streaming services in Africa, owned by Chinese manufacturer Transsion Holdings, the leading smartphone company in Africa. .

Launched in 2015, Boomplay already boasts 36 million users. The platform is present in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. The agreement with Universal Music, the first past with a "major" music, will allow him to expose to the world local artists who will now be on the platform alongside stars like Drake, Eminem or The Weeknd.

Africa, the next Eldorado

For UMG, the agreement is the logical follow-up to its strategy to occupy an African field, particularly French, which it considers expanding. "Within ten years, the African music market will be bigger than the European market"said Olivier Nusse, chairman of the executive board of the French branch of Universal Music, in the columns of "Echos". Thus, besides Boomplay, Universal has already made its catalog available to local platforms like Waw and Muska.

At the same time, streaming services dominating the European market are also trying to gain a foothold on the continent. In May 2018, Spotify launched in South Africa. At the end of October, the French company Deezer announced its arrival in the Middle East and North Africa.

The example of Latin America

It must be said that the trend seems to be in the direction of all these actors. Music streaming is enjoying tremendous success in countries where the rate of smartphone equipment is climbing. The potential of Africa is therefore difficult to contest while the continent is expected to have 660 million people equipped with a smartphone in 2020, double the size of 2016, according to Deloitte.

Africa can thus benefit from the experience feedback of Latin America, which has become a robust market thanks to the massification of 4G.

There, local stars managed to conquer the global market, like J Balvin, Anitta or Luis Fonsi and his famous title "Despacito". For now, the African music market is not there yet and remains embryonic: it weighs 0.44% of $ 17.3 billion of the global music industry. In Europe, however, African music already accounts for 33.2% of the market.