'Africa is on the brink of a streaming boom': CAPASSO spearheads regional licensing hub

'Africa is on the brink of a streaming boom': CAPASSO spearheads regional licensing hub

The Composers, Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO) has hailed the early success of the formation of the region’s pan-African licensing hub.

The South African society spearheaded the formation of the hub, which consolidates pan-African repertoire and rights into a centralised licence. The hub comprises 17 collections societies across the African continent and offers licencees repertoire on a multi-territorial basis in the high potential emerging market.

Africa’s digital collections over the last four years have seen a 32% percent growth, according to CAPASSO. Observers have pointed to the potential growth resulting from high smartphone penetration and a young population. Subscription streaming already accounts for 49% of all mechanical rights collections in South Africa. 

CAPASSO’s head of legal and business affairs, Wiseman Qinani Ngubo (pictured), said: “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, thus we as CMOs 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.” 

Countries that are currently participating in multi-territorial licensing hub include, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda, Cape Verde and Namibia, amongst others.

To date, the Hub has entered into multi-territorial agreements with various DSPs including Apple Music, YouTube, Facebook and Spotify. Regional DSPs such as Boomplay, Udux, Music Time, Mdundo and others have also been licensed on a multi-territorial basis via the Hub. 

In addition to providing an easy route to market for DSPs, the aim of the hub is to provide African songwriters with a reliable and way to get fair royalties for use of their music.

David Alexander, of Sheer Music Publishing, said: “Central to the success of the African Licensing Hub is the concept that the African CMO becomes the hero of this story. Currently the majority of African CMOs have limited success in licensing and distribution according to usage which results in many of their economically successful members joining CMOs in Europe or the USA. The African Licensing Hub proves that with decent repertoire data the African CMOs can collect and distribute accurately to their own members, which starts a positive cycle of new members joining and providing their repertoire to the CMO which results in better payments and services to local members.”

Jotam Matariro, CEO of CAPASSO, said: “Setting up the hub and putting licenses in place is only the first part of the process. We now need to encourage all our composers across the continent to provide metadata which is key to collections. Without metadata, we will not be able to benefit from the licenses that we have put in place as collections are based on the works information that we are able to identify from the massive reports that the DSPs provide to us on a regular basis. We therefore call upon all music authors and composers as well as publishers across the continent to notify their works so we can make this process beneficial to all.” 

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