Thursday, May 23, 2024

Warner Music to Expand Into Lagos, Nigeria

Warner Music Africa (WMA) is planning to establish a new creative hub in Lagos, Nigeria.

The move will mark the opening of Warner’s first fully-owned office in the market. WMA says that its expansion into Lagos will enable it “to provide more of its A&R, Operations and Marketing expertise to Nigeria’s creative ecosystem”.

WMA’s plans to expand in Nigeria arrive at a time of significant recorded music industry growth in the wider Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region.

According to IFPI, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was the fastest-growing music region in 2023. It was also the fastest-growing music region globally in 2022.

Recorded music revenues in Sub-Saharan Africa grew by 24.7% in 2023, fuelled, according to IFPI, by a 24.5% rise in paid streaming revenues.

Ahead of the opening of its new office in Lagos, Warner Music Africa’s management team, including Alfonso Perez-Soto, President of Emerging Markets, Warner Music; Laverne Thomas, Operations Lead, WMA; Temi Adeniji, Managing Director, WMA, and Yoel Kenan, CEO, Africori, met with government officials in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja last week.

According to Warner Music Group, this “pivotal journey” saw the executives engage in meetings with key government officials to “establish crucial relationships and to bolster WMA’s mission of empowering Nigeria’s vibrant creative sector”.

During the Warner executive team’s visit last week, they met two senior ministers and the Special Advisor to the President of Nigeria.

Amongst them were: Minister Ayodele Olawande, Nigeria’s Minister of State For Youth Development, who provides insights into youth empowerment initiatives and holds a crucial role in the creative sector for national development. They also met with Minister Hannatu Musawa, the country’s Minister for Art, Culture, and the Creative Economy, and a prominent Nigerian lawyer and politician.

The WMG team also met with Adeagbo (Oluwadunsin) Ayomide, the Special Advisor to the President on Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.

WMG says that its meetings in Nigeria underscore its “longstanding commitment” to the market.

In 2019, Warner Music Group invested in independent Nigeria-based music company Chocolate City in a deal that WMG said at the time will “dramatically grow the reach of African artists around the world, and will create new opportunities for global superstars in the region”.

In 2022, Warner Music Group acquired a majority stake in Africori, a prominent African music distribution, music rights management and artist development company which has offices in Johannesburg, London and Lagos.

WMG first invested in Africori in early 2020. The original deal gave WMG access to what it called “Africa’s largest catalog and A&R network”, as well as enabling WMG to establish a presence in many African markets for the first time. WMG’s publishing division, Warner Chappell Music, also inked a global deal with Africori in 2020.

In addition, the Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund (WMG/BFF SJF) has contributed more than USD $400,000 to Nigeria’s creative sector via its Repertoire and Core Funds.

For example, it contributed $200,000 in 2022 to the West African Vocational Education and $150,000 in 2023 to The Sarz Academy which nurtures emerging talent in music production.

Meanwhile, WMG noted on Wednesday (May 22) that Temi Adeniji and Alfonso Perez-Soto’s leadership “has been instrumental in driving the success of Warner Music’s global artists in Africa and their local repertoire across the globe”.

According to WMG, they have played “a pivotal role” in signing and promoting superstar Nigerian artist CKay, whose viral single Love Nwantiti has achieved significant success, recently being certified 8x platinum in the US.

Additionally, WMA recently signed 26-year-old Nigerian singer-songwriter Joeboy, who has amassed 2 billion streams over the past five years.

As part of the deal, Joeboy has created his own record label, Young Legend which will partner with Warner Music Africa for global distribution of its artists’ music.

Earlier this week, Temi Adeniji, Managing Director at Warner Music Africa and Warner’s SVP of Sub-Saharan Africa, joined the MBW podcast to discuss the rise of music from Africa and more.


No comments:

Post a Comment