Universal and Samsung launch mobile music service for African markets

By | Published on Thursday 14 March 2013


Universal Music has teamed up with Samsung to launch a new mobile-based music service aimed at the African market, which will initially be available in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Angola. The service, called Kleek, will be available via an app that will work on any Android phone (and is available via the Google Play platform), though the service will be pre-installed on Samsung devices.

Although Universal has a stake in Kleek, music will be licensed from other content owners too. So far a variety of African labels and publishers are on board, with an ambition to have a comprehensive catalogue of local repertoire, so to reflect the kind of music played on radio in the African markets, although licensing talks are also reportedly ongoing with at least one other major.

Announcing the new service, which will be free to access initially though payment plans may be added down the line, Universal Music’s Francis Keeling told Billboard: “You can’t simply take an international service and plonk it on Africa and expect it to be successful. The idea of the Kleek is that it will provide the kind of unique, experience-focused recommendations on artists that are relevant to the Nigerian consumers, the Ghana consumer, the Kenyan consumer, as well as the South African and Angolan consumer”.

Meanwhile Universal Music International chief Max Hole told CMU: “By investing in the Kleek we’re providing a platform for the very best of African talent to reach a wider audience. With the explosion of smart phones and other mobile devices, the Kleek has the potential to attract tens of millions of music fans across Africa”.