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Universal launches new Virgin Music services division for Africa

By | Published on Wednesday 8 June 2022

Virgin Music Label & Artist Services

Universal Music continues to grow its label services business Virgin Music, announcing yesterday the arrival of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services Africa.

The new Africa-focused division will, and I quote, “focus on supporting the next wave of independent artists, talents, labels, influencers and entrepreneurs from the region with disruptive innovation and best in class services, to help deliver global success for its roster, and further expand the reach of music culture from across the continent to the vast African diaspora, as well as to new fans and audiences around the world”.

The major says that Virgin Music Africa launches with more than 50 label partners from 25 countries across the continent, which means it already has more than 15,000 titles in its catalogue. As well as working with new artists and new releases, the new services division also aims to get a number of older African music catalogues streaming for the first time.

It will all be headed up by Universal Music Africa’s Director Of International Development Guylaine Clery and Head Of A&R Félix Pea, both of whom report into Universal Music Africa MD Franck Kacou.

Says Kacou: “Our vision for Virgin Music in Africa is based on an observation that African cultural heritage has not yet fully found its place in the digital world and on [streaming services] globally. Indeed, with some of these services rarely existing in certain territories, this heritage is unequally represented. Our ambition is to make African music a showcase of all that Africa and its diaspora can offer the world!”

Noting the plan to distribute and promote catalogue as well as new releases, he adds: “We intend to give new life to forgotten songs … digitising them to make them accessible to as many people as possible, everywhere in the world. The creation of this label services [division] will make it possible to preserve, distribute, structure, and promote the African musical heritage of yesterday, today and tomorrow, whilst also providing global distribution services to Africa’s most exciting artists, labels and entrepreneurs”.