Merlin has signed a deal with Boomplay, Africa’s biggest and fastest-growing music service.
The move comes as the region is tipped to experience a streaming boom.
The licensing deal with Boomplay ensures it will have access to the whole range of independent music repertoire. The platform has more than 62 million users.
Merlin’s membership currently embodies more than 20,000 record labels and distributors from over 60 countries, representing in excess of 12% of the digital music market. The digital rights agency is now heading towards $3 billion in collections in just over a decade.
Phil Choi, Boomplay’s director of content & strategy, 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.”
Our members will now be at the heart of Africa’s exciting and fast-evolving music market
Tosin Sorinola, Boomplay’s head of marketing Africa, said: “This is an important partnership, and offers our African listener base a stronger opportunity to access and enjoy a greater range and depth of music. Boomplay’s vision is to build the largest and most reliable music ecosystem in Africa, and working with Merlin brings us significantly closer to that goal.”
Charlie Lexton, chief commercial officer, Merlin: “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.”
The deal comes as it emerged that Merlin is moving ts registered business from Holland to Ireland, though not its staffing.
In future, Merlin will retain a small profit margin for investment in the independent recorded music sector.
"Merlin is undergoing an internal re-structuring to simplify its operations,” said a spokesperson. “This will not impact the way Merlin works with its members or its music service partners, as the current corporate structure will be substantially replicated in the newly incorporated Merlin companies. The new structure should enable Merlin in future to apply a small margin to supporting the growth of digital capability in the independent recorded music sector.”