Nairobi-based music service Mdundo, which has for long carved out its niche as the go-to source for local music, has made the groundbreaking announcement that it has signed a music distribution deal with the World’s third largest music conglomerate, Warner Music.
“We are very happy to announce this partnership. There’s a huge demand among African music fans for international, as well as local, repertoire. This deal makes our service more attractive and that will benefit our users, our African musicians and our commercial partners,” says Martin Nielsen, CEO of Mdundo.
Warner Music’s vast catalog of music, which includes the sounds of Ed Sheeran, Jason Derulo, Cold Play, Linkin Park and Madonna, is now available alongside Africa’s biggest musicians on the Mdundo App. The music service has, in the past five years, been working towards easy and legal access to music in Africa, with presence in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria marking its strongest presence. Mdundo claims that more than 10 million people use its app every year, which works directly with 40,000 African musicians to deliver the huge catalogue for their listeners.
‘We are delighted to be working with the committed team at Mdundo, giving our artists the opportunity to promote and sell their music legitimately in these countries’, says Tracy Fraser, Managing Director, Warner Music South Africa. ‘Africa is seen by the international music industry as a market of huge potential. Technology hurdles are being overcome and policymakers are starting to address the need to improve the legal environment in which the market operates. The deal between Warner Music and Mdundo marks another milestone in the development of this exciting market.’
Asked how additional international content on its local platform would turn out for existing users, Nielsen says that “there’s a huge demand both for local and international catalogues and we believe that it’s important to provide both to our audience.”
Mdundo expects that this will have a positive effect for local artists, as it will attract even more listeners to the service who will discover all the local music they have to offer.
The full Warner Music catalogue of over 1 million tracks will be available in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria, which are Mdundo’s strongest territories, with a good number of the songs already being added to its playlist.
Mdundo is one of Africa’s biggest music services with almost 2 million monthly active users from across the continent. A key objective for the young company is to provide music lovers with easy and affordable access to music, as well as kill illegal piracy of music in Africa.
For the short and long term, Nielsen says that Mdundo’s focus is the same as it has been – improving on their catalogue to offer as much exciting music for listeners, as well as improving the service and ensuring that they are creating value for users and musicians signed on. One of the latest features on the Mdundo App is the friends timeline, which gives our users the ability to explore what their Facebook friends are listening too.
On its part, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of some of the best-known record labels in the music industry, including Asylum, Atlantic, Big Beat, Canvasback, East West, Elektra, Erato, FFRR, Fueled by Ramen, Nonesuch, Parlophone, Reprise, Rhino, Roadrunner, Sire, Warner Bros., Warner Classics, and Warner Music Nashville, as well as Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world’s leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide.