Today in #TheLagosReview

Sony Strikes Deal With Boomplay; Africa’s Biggest Music App

All three major record companies now have licensing deals with Boomplay Music, the music streaming platform which claims to reach more than 60 million users in Africa.

Sony Music Entertainment became the last to partner up with Boomplay today (Nov. 19), following Warner Music Group in March and Universal Music Group, which led the way in November 2018.

Boomplay’s catalog of more than 10 million songs is available in Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Now, that library includes music by such Sony heavyweights as Beyoncé, Travis Scott, Camila Cabello, DJ Khaled and Future, along with African signees like Nigerian artists Wizkid and Davido, and Kenya’s Redsan.

“We look forward to bringing Africans together on Boomplay to discover, listen to and enjoy the millions of songs our exceptional Sony Music Entertainment artists have created,” said Sony Music Entertainment Africa managing director Sean Watson.

Adds Boomplay director of content & strategy Phil Choi: “This is a significant step for us in achieving our aim to develop the African music eco-system and we are excited about the opportunities that this strategic partnership will bring for African artists and our users.”

Launched in Nigeria in 2015, Boomplay is owned by the China-based company Transsnet Music Limited. Boomplay is currently available on Android, iOS and web, and users can subscribe to daily, weekly and monthly payment plans.

In April, when Boomplay announced it had raised $20 million in Series A funding, the streaming platform claimed to have signed up more than 44 million users. At the time, Boomplay said it was adding an average of 2 million new subscribers per month — a claim it seems to have slightly surpassed.

And Boomplay isn’t the only way the majors are expanding into Africa. This spring, Warner formed a partnership with local Nigerian label Chocolate City, while last year, Universal purchased a majority stake Kenyan music label AI Records.

Meanwhile on the streaming front, Apple Music, Tidal and Spotify all have debuted in Africa in the past few years.


Nigerian writer, Nnamdi Oguike and 3 others win Miles Morland Writing Scholarships for 2019

The judges met yesterday to decide on the four new Morland Writing Scholars for 2019. This was another record year for entries with almost 700 submissions.

The 2019 Morland Writing Scholars are:

Gloria Mwaniga Odari – Kenya

Hawa Jande Golakai – Liberia

Nnamdi Oguike – Nigeria

Parselelo ole Kantai – Kenya

The winners each receive a grant of ₤18,000 to allow them to take a year off to write a book. The awards are based on submissions which include a book proposal and an excerpt of published writing.

Miles Morland commented, “This year’s winners are a brilliant group. I’m happy that all four are living in Africa, not the diaspora, and will be writing books about Africa. Their books have challenging themes very much in tune with the current world. We had a new panel of judges this year with Muthoni Garland stepping up to be the Chair, and being joined by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, and Otosirieze Obi-Young. Every one of the short list of twenty was discussed in depth before they made their decision. We are lucky to have three judges who are so closely in touch with African writing.”

Here are Muthoni’s comments on the 2019 Scholars reflecting the views of her and the judging panel.

“The winners of the 2019 Scholarships impressed us with their ambitious and confident exploration of some key themes troubling and shaping our continent. Varied in approach and style, they include a grand social history, a futuristic epic, an immigrant story, and a nuanced family portrait. What they promise in common is persuasive storytelling, coherent world building and insightful characters.

Gloria Mwaniga Odari – Kenya

Following an act of religious cult extremism, a displaced rural girl comes of age in Where the Bougainvillea Blossoms, an intimate portrayal of family that explores the themes of patriarchal and cultural control of women bodies and lives.

Hawa Jande Golakai – Liberia

Speculative fiction of soaring imagination featuring a tightly controlled underwater city of glass in a future mecca for black people in West Africa. Inspired by Liberia, the ebola virus and pending environmental disaster, the proposed novel, Spectral is a terrifying examination of the tensions between freedom and social order.

Nnamdi Oguike – Nigeria

Set in South Africa and Nigeria, Toy Shop is a funny and tender exploration of the bonds of love in a family tested by xenophobic violence and complicated multicultural family ties.

Parsalelo ole Kantai – Kenya

Parselelo will write an important and urgent exploration of the unprecedented nexus of revolutionary intellectuals and artists from multiple African countries, identities and periods that coalesced in Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam in the Revolutionary Age is potentially a zeitgeist work of non-fiction of great historical significance, centred in Africa but set in a global context.”

Miles added to Muthoni’s comments: “We are proud and happy that our Writing Scholarships have come to occupy a unique position in Africa’s literary universe and, as Muthoni says, this year’s new Scholars will write books that speak of Africa and could only come from that continent. Our goal has always been to focus attention on the unique breadth and energy of African writing. This year’s winners will do that brilliantly.

YouTube & AGN back Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde’s TEFFEST

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde will hold the first edition of The Entertainment Fair and Festival, TEFFEST as the convener and speaker.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde’s entertainment fair, TEFFEST, has gotten the backing of YouTube and Actors Guild of Nigeria.

Ahead of the inaugural edition of Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde’s TEFFEST, YouTube and the Actors Guild of Nigeria have thrown their weights behind the event.

The Entertainment Fair and Festival, TEFFEST, which has Omotola as its convener is scheduled to hold on Friday, November 29, 2019.

The AGN President, Ejezie Emeka Rollas will join Ali Baba, Bisola Aiyeola and Craig Fenton of Google as speakers at the event.

Speaking on the event, the ‘Alter Ego’ star said, “Our Vision is to show how all other industries service, improve, relate to, and can do business in/with entertainment eventually, creating one of the biggest business chains in the economy. We hope to help bring structure to the entertainment industry while collaborating with international partners to provide training, advice, network, and opportunities,” said the 2018 AMVCA Best Actress.

Omotola said further that the ulterior aim is to promote and showcase the businesses around African entertainment to the world as it creates a platform for world-class innovations around entertainment to come into Africa.

On why AGN is backing the fair and festival, Rollas says it is a welcome development that should be encouraged for the growth and sustainability of the industry. The AGN president said it’s more laudable that the fair and festival is the brainchild of one of Nollywod’s pride.

TEFFEST is coming on the heels of the African International Film Festival, AFRIFF, which held between November 10 and November 17, 2019.

Source: Pulse
Image: OJE Instagram

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