Sony Music on Tuesday announced it had opened a new office in Lagos, Nigeria as part of a plan to expand its active presence in key African markets. The Lagos HQ will become a hub for the major’s operations in West Africa, while moves are also afoot to set up a base in Nairobi in Kenya, which would provide a hub for East Africa.
It’s part of the major’s ongoing efforts to step up operations in emerging markets, where it’s hoped there are new opportunities in the recorded music space, in no small part enabled by the potential of mobile music services in countries where the global record industry has not previously seen much revenue. And Sony isn’t the only big music rights firm with its sights on Africa – where operations to date have often been focused on South Africa – even though challenges remain in many markets on the continent.
Michael Ugwu has been appointed Sony Music’s General Manager for the West African region, while last month the major signed Nigerian superstar artist Davido to a worldwide deal, in a bid to make a splash with its arrival in the region.
Confirming all this, Sony’s President of Northern/Eastern Europe & Africa, Adam Granite, told reporters: “Expansion in Africa has been part of our strategy for several years. As the region continues to grow, we see significant opportunities to market the incredible local talent in Africa to the rest of the world as well as import our repertoire and exploit it on emerging digital platforms”.
Meanwhile the MD of Sony Music Africa, Sean Watson, said of the major’s ambitions in the region: “We are really keen to partner with African artists to deliver local, African and global success stories. With over 800 million people living in Sub Saharan Africa, the African continent is a market with huge potential for local artists wanting to expand their horizons”.