Business News Deals Digital

Merlin allies with Boomplay, as regional copyright hub predicts a “streaming boom” in African markets

By | Published on Wednesday 11 December 2019


African streaming service Boomplay has further increased its access to global catalogue by signing a licensing deal with indie-label repping Merlin. The deal will allow Merlin-allied labels and distributors around the world to make their music available to Boomplay’s 62 million users across various African markets.

Confirming the deal, Boomplay’s Director Of Content & Strategy Phil Choi said: “We are so excited to be working with Merlin and introducing the world’s largest network of independent labels into Africa. Boomplay continues to be at the forefront of developing the African music industry and this partnership will enable a far greater range of international artists to access our market”.

Meanwhile, Merlin’s Chief Commercial Officer Charlie Lexton added: “Merlin is a globally-facing business, and I am delighted that our independent members will now be at the heart of Africa’s exciting and fast-evolving music market. We look forward to working closely with Boomplay, to further developing this partnership, and building deep and lasting connections across the continent”.

Elsewhere in the region, the South African collecting society CAPASSO has started talking up the new pan-African licensing hub that it has been developing for a while now.

Similar to initiatives like ICE, Armonia and Polaris in Europe, and the Digital One Stop Shop in Latin America, the Pan-African Licensing Hub represents the repertoires of multiple collecting societies when it comes to doing deals with multi-territory streaming services.

Seventeen African societies are already involved in the CAPASSO-led venture and the licensing hub has entered into deals with various global and regional streaming services, including Spotify, Apple and the aforementioned Boomplay.

Commenting on its pan-African licensing ventures, CAPASSO’s Chief Operations Officer Wiseman Qinani Ngubo said this week: “We are of the belief that Africa is on the brink of a streaming boom. Our numbers indicate that streaming revenue across multiple territories in the region, excluding South Africa, has had an increase of over 62% year-on-year”.

“This signals the readiness and the appetite for streaming”, he added, “thus we as [collecting societies] must gear up to facilitate that access. This growth is directly attributable to the consolidation of rights and repertoire via the hub. Even in South Africa where there is positive penetration, there is still huge potential for growth”.