Warner Music Group has signed a licensing deal with African music service Mdundo to stream its catalog in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria. Mdundo, which has nearly 2 million monthly active users and says 10 million people use its app each year, has built a following over the past five years largely with local musicians, with 40,000 African artists’ music on the service. A hybrid download/streaming company, with both ad-supported and paid streaming tiers, Mdundo will make WMG's catalog available to stream for its users.
"There's a huge demand among African music fans for international, as well as local, repertoire," said Mdundo CEO Martin Nielsen in a statement. "This deal makes our service more attractive and that will benefit our users, our African musicians and our commercial partners."
The deal marks the latest expansion by a major label into emerging markets, following Universal Music Group's agreement in May to license its catalog in China with digital music platform Tencent. It also arrives amid a growing interest in the music and artists of Africa in the U.S., with artists like WizKid and Davido, among others, landing major label deals with Sony Music Group of late, for example.