The announcement comes less than a month after Sony Music Entertainment became the last major team to join the music streaming platform, which claims to reach more than 62 million users in Africa.
Launched in Nigeria in 2015, Boomplay belongs to the Chinese company Transsnet Music Limited and has a catalog of more than 10 million songs available for streaming or download in Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Universal was the first major company to enter into a license agreement with the service in November 2018, after Warner Music Group in March of this year and Sony Music Entertainment in November.
The addition of the repertoire of 20,000 independent labels and distributors that Merlin represents significantly increases Boomplay’s licensed catalog and significantly increases its consumer proposition, the company said.
‘’We are so excited to be working with Merlin and introducing the world’s largest network of independent labels into Africa,” said Boomplay content and strategy director Phil Choi.
Head of marketing Africa, Marketing Director for Africa, Tosin Sorinola, said the Merlin partnership has brought Boomplay closer to its goal of building Africa’s largest and most reliable music ecosystem.
“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,” added Merlin chief commercial officer Charlie Lexton. He said he looks forward to “further developing this partnership and building deep and lasting connections across the continent.”
The license agreement comes as Merlin undergoes an internal restructuring that will see CEO Charles Caldas leave his post at the end of the year after 12 years at the helm. His successor has not yet been announced, while the non-profit organization is also moving its headquarters from Amsterdam to Dublin, an administrative decision resulting in two job cuts. Since its inception in 2008, Merlin has distributed more than $ 2 billion to its members.