Mdundo and Universal Music Group Sign Deal to Bring its Music Catalog to African Audiences
The Afrocentric streaming platform says the deal will strengthen its offering to its 17 million active monthly users and accelerate its growth across Africa. Mdundo claims that its service has grown at an exponential rate in the Nigerian market and is now available in several African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, and Tanzania.
Last year, in an effort to increase its earnings and user base, the streaming platform signed partnerships with telcos across the continent, which it claimed boosted its growth. Mdundo users can listen to music via USSD services via a bundled program (daily, weekly or monthly). The streaming service is also available via its website and app, which has over 1 million, downloads.
Commenting on the partnership, Martin Nielsen, Mdundo founder, and CEO said in a statement, “Our focus is to provide a relevant service to the hundreds of millions of potential users in Africa that are getting online… We are extremely pleased to work with Universal Music within Africa towards our vision of providing Africa with an easy and legal solution to accessing music that fits the local consumers.”
Martin Nielsen, Francis Amisi, Jura Sidorenko, and Kresten Buch co-founded Mdundo in 2012, with Martin Nielsen, from Denmark, also doubling as the company’s CEO. In September 2020, the company was listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market, a Nasdaq Nordic division, to accelerate its expansion across Africa. The platform’s user base has grown from less than one million in 2016 to 20 million by the end of June, with plans to reach 25 million by 2025.
Its latest deal comes as UMG continues to expand its presence in Africa through its subsidiary, Universal Music Africa, which has established a presence in South Africa, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya, and Morocco over the last decade. UMG is also the parent company of several major African labels, including Def Jam Africa, Blue Note Africa, and Motown Gospel Africa.
Sipho Dlamini, the CEO of Universal Music South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa said “We welcome Mdundo as a partner, and are excited for more fans across Africa to have greater access to some of Africa’s most exciting musical talent, as well as UMG’s unrivaled catalog of international artists.”
Through its website and app, the Nairobi-based company provides free unlimited access to a large library of Africa’s favorite songs across various genres. Although its service is free, Mdundo earns money from advertisements. This agreement will bolster Mdundo’s efforts as it continues to compete in a market dominated by the likes of Sweden’s Spotify, which is now present in more than 40 African countries after expanding to an additional 38 last year. Nigerian –based Boomplay and Kenyan Safaricom-owned Songa. Spotify and Boomplay are already licensed by the three major record labels, including Sony Music.