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Warner and Africori’s New Deal Opens Up The International Music Playing Field

American big dog entertainment company Warner Music Group has had its eye on African talent for years, and now, through their latest deal with Africori, the music giants are taking a stab at distributing across the continent. Africori Music Group is a music distribution, rights, and management company, and the number one distributor of independent African music, artists, and labels in the world. WMG originally invested in Africori and established their presence in African markets in 2020 — that deal gave them access to Africa’s largest catalogs and A&R network.

The US-based entertainment company’s latest decision to acquire a majority stake in Africori, “could see WMG become the number one distributor in Africa and will open up more opportunities for African artists to tap into the global Warner Music network and enjoy international success,” they said in the announcement. Some artists that illustrate the potential success from the acquisition are South African ‘Jerusalema’ crooner Master KG, fellow rappers Focalistic, and Kwesta. Master KG’s single became the first South African song to hit a million YouTube views and top charts in seven countries.

As it stands, Africori has 7,000 artists and 850 clients under their wing, and last year saw the group’s artists generate hundreds of millions of audio streams, billions of YouTube views, and the company recorded strong revenue growth across all major DPSs (music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, etc). The deal sees that the African-based company will continue to operate independently, with current CEO Yoel Kenan staying on. President of emerging markets at Warner Recorded Music, Alfonso Perez-Soto said of the business deal, “Since partnering with Africori, we have established a collaborative and strategic partnership that has resulted in some impressive results on a global level. Yoel Kenan and his team have done an incredible job building a company that is a real force of nature in Africa, and by bringing them into the Warner Music ecosystem, we believe we can give them deeper support as we aim to take African music even more global.”


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