Warner buys African music distributor Africori


Warner Music Group (WMG) has acquired a majority stake in Africori, a prominent African music distribution, rights rights and artist development company.

With offices in Johannesburg, London and Lagos, Africori currently services 7,000 artists and 850 clients and reports that by 2021, its artists generated hundreds of millions of audio streams and billions of YouTube views. The company also reports having recorded strong revenue growth across all major DSPs.

WMG says Africori will continue to operate as an independent company, with current CEO Yoel Kenan remaining in his position.

WMG first invested in Africori in early 2020. The initial agreement gave WMG access to what it calls “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.

In addition, WMG’s publishing division, Warner Chappell Music, entered into a global agreement with Africori, also in 2020.

According to a media release announcing today’s news, WMG says its decision to take a majority stake in Africori could see it “become the number one distributor in Africa” ​​and, moreover, that the agreement “will open up more opportunities for African artists. leverage into the global Warner Music network and enjoy international success ”.

WMG cites the South African artist Master KG as an artist’s success story, stemming from the companies working together, after “upstream” Master KG to Warner Music France, which WMG says led to his number, Jerusalem, becomes a “big international hit”.

In addition to Master KG, Africori is also home to some of Africa’s greatest artists such as Ben Soul, Blxckie, Focalistic, Kamo Mphela, Kwesta, Jux, Makhadzi, Nviiri the Storyteller and Rexxie.

This is WMG’s latest investment in Africa, after expanding its presence in the wider region in recent years through partnerships and agreements with Chocolate City, Diamond Platnumz and his label WCB-Wasafi, Coleske and Ziiki Media.

“Since collaborating with Africori, we have established a collaborative and strategic partnership that has resulted in some impressive results globally.”

Alfonso Perez-Soto, Warner

Alfonso Perez-Soto, President, Emerging Markets, Warner Recorded Music, said: “Since collaborating with Africori, we have established a collaborative and strategic partnership that has resulted in some impressive results globally.

“Yoel Kenan and his team have done an incredible job of 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 ourselves. more global. “

“This new agreement positions us as Africa’s leading distributor and I am confident that Warner Music South Africa will be in a fantastic position when we join forces, to deliver more victories as ‘Jerusalem’ in the future.”

Temi Adeniji, Warner

Temi Adeniji, CEO of Warner Music South Africa and SVP, Strategy, Sub-Saharan Africa, Warner Music, added: “With Master KG, we worked closely with the Africori team to take a local hit and connect it with people around the world. .

“This new deal positions us as Africa’s leading distributor and I am confident that Warner Music South Africa will be in a great position to deliver more victories such as. Jerusalem in the future.”

“African music is booming all over the world, and some of our artists are right at the heart of the explosion.”

Yoel Kenan, Africa

Yoel Kenan, CEO, Africori, said: “African music is flourishing all over the world and some of our artists are right in the heart of the explosion.

“Through our partnership, Warner Music has proven to be the perfect home for Africori and our artists going forward. I look forward to continuing to work with them as we crack more artists globally.”

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