UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP TO EXPAND STRATEGIC OPERATIONS WITHIN AFRICA
Universal Music Africa Opening New Division in Côte d’Ivoire
Significant expansion of live music activity throughout the continent in partnership with Vivendi & CanalOlympia
PARIS/ABIDJAN, July 11, 2018 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced a significant expansion in French-speaking Africa, with the launch of a new strategic division within French-speaking Africa markets with a focus on discovering and supporting local music talent in-order to maximize the commercial opportunities for artists and labels throughout French-speaking Africa to reach audiences globally.
The team will be led by experienced music industry executive, artist manager and live promoter, Moussa Soumbounou, who has been appointed as MD, Western Africa effective immediately. Moussa Soumbounou will report to Olivier Nusse, CEO, Universal Music France and operate from a new Universal Music Africa (UMA) office in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and covering Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles and Togo. Recent artist signings to the label include Kiff No Beat and DJ Arafat from Ivory Coast, Toofan from Togo and Locko and Tenor from Cameroon.
Olivier Nusse, CEO, Universal Music France said, “I am delighted to announce the expansion of our strategic operations across Africa under the leadership of Moussa Soumbounou and his team, which will not only help us to discover and release new talent throughout Africa and other French-speaking markets around the world, but will also increase the creative, commercial, digital and live opportunities available for these artists locally, in France and now globally.”
Within French-speaking Africa, the new Universal Music team have also been highly active within the live sector over the past few months, organizing a Pan-African tour for French urban legend Niska, and French tours for African artists including Tenor. Universal Music Group is also working closely in partnership with parent company Vivendi, and several of its divisions including CanalOlympia, Vivendi Village, Canal+ and Havas to support and develop the live music industry ecosystem throughout the continent.
This new division will work in partnership with existing UMG operations including North African territories and alongside key markets across English-speaking Africa that will offer artists comprehensive opportunities throughout the region and provide pan-African talent the best possible launch pad for wider international success.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at: http://www.universalmusic.com.
CanalOlympia is the leading network of cinema and live performance venues in Africa. Since 2016, eight venues have been opened throughout the continent in Yaoundé (Cameroon), Conakry (Guinea), Douala (Cameroon), Niamey (Niger), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Dakar (Senegal), Lomé (Togo) and Cotonou (Benin), with several dozen further venues set to open up throughout central and western African countries, where entertainment and cultural infrastructures are often lacking. CanalOlympia venues are structured around a modular movie theater with 300 seats, which can be transformed into an open-air stage with space for an audience of several thousand. Serving as venues for movies, concerts and shows, these spaces are designed to showcase African culture in all its diversity, and will be able to draw on Vivendi’s innovative content, particularly that of Canal+ and Universal Music Group.