Sony Music Entertainment (SME) has agreed to license its music catalogue for Boomplay, one of Africa's largest music streaming and download platforms. This means Boomplay users will now be able to enjoy the sounds of the likes of Nigeria's Wizkid and Davido as well as Kenya's Redsan, among many other artists on the SME roster.

The agreement with SME follows on from Universal Music signing a similar licensing deal with Boomplay earlier in 2019.

β€œWe are delighted to partner with SME and having their internationally recognised repertoire on board!” Choi exclaims. β€œThis is a significant step for us in achieving our aim to develop the African music eco-system and we are excited about the opportunities that this strategic partnership will bring for African artistes and our users,” said Phil Choi, Director of Content & Strategy at Boomplay.

Largest digital music platform in Africa

Digital music streaming and downloads are a tricky business, especially across Africa. Given that the majority of mobile phones are still feature phones and also the cost of mobile Internet is one of the highest (as compared to people's income) across the world, this makes it a difficult business no only to enter but also to turn profitable.

In this episode of The Tefo Mohapi Show, Yoel Kenan (Founder and CEO at Africori Music Group), explains and discusses the digital music industry across Africa.

However, in the case of Boomplay, it helps that one of their shareholders is Transsion Holdings - the Chinese manufacturer of Africa's biggest mobile phone brands in TECNO, Infinix, and itel (the other shareholder is NetEase). This allows Boomplay to have their app pre-installed on all Transsion mobile phones, a factor which has immensely assisted the company in reaching the milestone (as reported by Boomplay) of 45 million users in Africa earlier in 2019, and now reportedly over 60 million.

Boomplay is available specifically in Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. To date it reports to have over 10 million songs available through its digital music app.

The vision

Boomplay has said that their vision is to build "the largest and most reliable digital music ecosystem for artists and content creators in Africa." This is definetly a bold vision given how complex the music industry is across different parts of the continent. However, with the kind of backing they have, it should ease things slightly.

β€œMusic remains the only universal language, transcending the thoughts, boundaries, philosophies, cultures and preferences of individuals. This partnership offers our African stars a stronger opportunity to be heard on the global scene – increasing their reach and exposure,” said Tosin Sorinola, Head of Marketing for Africa at Boomplay.

As can be expected, Sony Music's catalogue also gives Boomplay listeners access to the global music stars such as BeyoncΓ© and DJ Khaled, to Moroccan-born rapper French Montana and hip hop maven Future. Boomplay is currently available on Android, iOS and most Web browsers.

β€œSME is delighted about working with Boomplay to deliver some of the greatest music in the world to African music lovers through our newly concluded partnership. We look forward to bringing Africans together on Boomplay to discover, listen to and enjoy the millions of songs our exceptional Sony Music Entertainment artists have created!" said Sean Watson, Managing Director at SME.

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