Warner Music Group (WMG) has announced it is investing in Africa’s leading digital music distribution, music rights management and artist development company Africori. The deal gives Warner Music’s ADA division access to Africa’s largest catalogue and A&R network, as well as enabling WMG to establish a presence in many African markets for the first time.
Africori, which was launched in 2009 in response to the lack of opportunities available for African artists operating in the then-nascent digital industry is the largest digital music distribution company in Sub-Saharan Africa, with experience working with both major and independent record labels.
The company also has a strong track record in brand building, marketing and advertising,as well as a history of working with partners from the film, digital and mobile sectors.
ADA will work closely with Africori to distribute and promote its artists internationally through Warner Music’s global network.
Working with a cataloguw of artists that include Elzo Jamdong, Jux, Master KG, Nabila, Nyashinski, Pappy Kojo, Sean Tizzle, Sho Madjozi, $pacely and Yung L, it will support Africori’s distribution activities. It will also have a first option on international licences for all new signings. The company has worked with more than 6,500 artists and 700 labels, and has the number one market share in a number of African countries. Alfonso Perez Soto, EVP Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at 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 said that that the global team at ADA is excited to be partnering with Africori, adding that there was alot of momentum and incredible music coming out of Africa at the moment.
Seton added: " 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.”
This latest deal will increase WMG’s presence in Africa. It follows on from an announcement last year about its partnership with Chocolate City, the influential Nigerian record label.