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Corporate Majority | Acquired

About Africori

Africori provides music distribution, licensing and publishing for independent African artists, labels from across the African continent and in the Diaspora.On January 12th, 2022, Warner Music Group acquired a majority stake in Africori. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquarters Location

32 Bompas Rd Dunkeld

Sandton, 2196,

South Africa

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Latest Africori News

Africa’s Creative Digital Economy

Feb 2, 2022

Africa’s Creative Digital Economy On 12th January 2022, Warner Music Group (WMG) announced their majority acquisition of Africori – the first major acquisition of the year in the entertainment industry . Momentum has been building toward this as WMG first invested in Africori in April 2020 at the height of the pandemic, followed in December 2020, with Africori signing a global sub-publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music France. In 2019, WMG signed a partnership deal with leading Nigerian record label, Chocolate city, and a licensing deal with Boomplay which raised $20 million. That same year, French media giant, Canal+ acquired Nigerian production studio, ROK film studios from Video on Demand (VOD) company IROKO TV. In September 2018, Netflix acquired the global rights to Genevieve Nnaji’s comedy, Lionheart. That same year, Black Panther became a global success as the first African-themed and predominantly black cast movie, grossing about US$13.5 billion at the global box office. On January 19th, 2022, Carry1st, a South African publisher of social games and interactive content across Africa raised a $20 million Series A extension led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). These brought significant attention to Africa’s creative digital economy – the subject of this essay. Africa’s creative digital economy, which includes music, film, art, fashion, cultural artifacts, apps and games is not only creating wealth for the creators but also contributes to the gross domestic product, exports and boosting development outcomes according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). “The creative economy is recognized now as a tool of sustainable development,” says Marisa Henderson, Chief of the Creative Economy Program at UNCTAD. UNCTAD defines this “creative economy” aka “orange economy” as the sum of all the parts of the creative industries, including trade, labor, and production. They have tracked trade in creative goods and services for close to twenty years and consistently found that the growth rate of creative economy exports outpaces that of other industries. Africa’s cultural goods sector is estimated to employ about half a million people and  generate US$4.2 billion in revenue . “Digitization is bridging the gap between the creative economies of developing countries and world markets,” says Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). “This is important because the transmission of cultural wealth can mobilize social change and provide jobs for young people”. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), digital platforms are fueling the growth of performers, artists, musicians, and others by allowing them to reach global audiences. The Creative Africa Nexus Summit (CANEX) in November 2021 in South Africa, focused on Africa’s creative and cultural industries bringing together creativity and technolog y. Revenue from digital music streaming in Africa is expected to reach US$500 million by 2025, up from only $100 million in 2017, according to the World Bank. Music streaming now accounts for more than half the revenue of the global music industry. Worldwide, online video subscriptions hit 1.1 billion in 2020 , a 26% rise from the previous year. MUSIC: Africori is the largest digital music distribution and rights management company in Sub-Saharan Africa, servicing a wide range of African artists (about 7,000) and serving 850 clients from operations in Lagos, London, and Johannesburg where its leading artist Master KG launched Jerusalema (feat. Nomcebo) which became a global smash during the pandemic. According to Yoel Kenan, founder and CEO of Africori “African music is inspiring creatives from around the world”. Alfonso Perez Soto, EVP, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Warner Music, said “I’m delighted that we’ll be working together with Africori – and Yoel Kenan in particular – as they’ve been pioneers, fighting for the interests of artists and the music industry in Africa. We can harness the power of our global network to take their great African music to a truly global audience.” Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Head of Music for sub-Saharan Africa, believes that the African music industry is at a tipping point. “We have artists already signing with the biggest labels in substantial deals, because everyone can see quite clearly that demand is high, and the world is ready for African pop music”. Sauti Sol, the pop band from Kenya, has gained international attention. According to PWC, Nigeria’s film industry known as Nollywood which is the largest private employer in Africa is one of the fastest-growing creative industries in the world. Nollywood has the potential to become Nigeria’s greatest export with a compound annual growth rate of 19.3% from 2018 to 2023 . SouthBox Entertainment based in Atlanta, USA whose founder Jon Gosier lived in Uganda at some point – was inspired to invest in Defiant Entertainment’s “Rise” a film on terror group, Boko Haram . Southbox has financed one feature film with a theatrical-release and three feature films with streaming-releases to date. SouthBox Entertainment is working with some local partners to launch an initiative called the Africa Media Trust Fund to direct investment towards more African film and television productions. South African entertainment company MultiChoice has been launching new TV channels in Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, Angola and Mozambique in the last 18 months as part of its hyperlocal African strategy which it says combines local content acquisition, production, and the development of local content through international production partnerships . In Senegal, the Kourtrajme collective has opened a film school to train talented African script writers . The Mastercard Foundation has partnered with Kisua, a leading African fashion brand to create Ananse an e-commerce platform that connects African designers with local and international consumers by simplifying inventory, payments, and logistics using technology. Casting Africa , a platform launched by Ghanaian entrepreneur and industry professional, Kwasi Bosiako Antwi is helping identify talent from around the continent through initiatives like their monologue challenge . AMP Global Technologies ’ interactive content and fans engagement technology allows content creators to engage with their audience. For example, their Take Back The Mic series makes for discovery of new creatives through the eyes of the audience that like and share their musical, film, or graphics content [1] . According to Bill Sonneborn, Senior Director, Disruptive Technology and Funds at IFC, “Creator tech can help solve issues of access and inclusion. When artists can develop local and global audience with corresponding monetization, they become part of a sector that offers direct and indirect employment opportunities and is worthy of investment”. According to him, new technologies like Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) can help enforce copyright and thwart piracy, helping artists get paid for their work , while Mobile Money (MoMo) platforms make it easier for consumers anywhere in Africa to pay for film, music, and art.

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Africori Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Africori founded?

    Africori was founded in 2009.

  • Where is Africori's headquarters?

    Africori's headquarters is located at 32 Bompas Rd, Sandton.

  • What is Africori's latest funding round?

    Africori's latest funding round is Corporate Majority.

  • Who are the investors of Africori?

    Investors of Africori include Warner Music Group.

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