Youth-focused music streaming service Audiomack has reached licensing agreements with both Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, the company announced this week. The service previously struck a licensing agreement with Warner Music Group in Aug. 2019.
Expanding its operations in Africa by opening a new office in Lagos, Nigeria, the service which was already available in all 54 countries on the continent, and has also become a major player on the African continent, recently hitting No. 1 on Apple’s App Store in the music category in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Senegal and Kenya; the No. 6 free app overall, after Facebook’s suite of apps and Snapchat — on Apple’s App Store in Nigeria.
Audiomack has grown considerably in the past few years, and as of December 2019 had been reported to have passed 1.5 billion plays and 15 million users per month; hence instituting both a premium tier at $4.99/month and a monetization platform to help creators on its service get paid. Partnerships with Songtrust, Live Nation Urban and a licensing deal with Warner Music followed. In Africa, the company says its plays have grown more than 1,600% over the past 14 months, while it has been a sponsor for Afrochella and Afronation in the past year.
“Audiomack from inception has always been a key partner for the African creative,” Nasty C manager and Africa Creative Agency co-founder Colin Gayle said in a statement to Billboard. “The platform has been key in amplifying our clients…and has a clear understanding of the market and audience. And now with boots on the ground, Audiomack is poised to change the game forever.”
This year, Audiomack is looking to continue production of its popular video series Trap Symphony, Fine Tuned and Bless the Booth and expand written content for its editorial arm, Audiomack World, with a focus on sharing stories behind the service’s favorite artists.
In a release announcing the new licensing deals, Audiomack director of music & data partnerships Vanessa Wilkins noted that the service “serves a unique listener base that is distinct from the audiences found on competing platforms,” which certainly makes it a lure for major labels looking to reach new audiences, particularly in Africa, which has emerged as a major player on the global music scene over the last several years.
This announcement comes on the heels of Rolling Stone adding Audiomack streams to their charts, which offer an in-the-moment view of the biggest songs, albums, and artists. According to audiomack’s blog, the tracking week of January 22 through January 28, 2020, the streaming data, and calculations from its US data was to be considered too and added to that of (Nielsen SoundScan) sales, when influencing and compiling Billboard chart positions (Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200, Artist 100, and Billboard Global 200 charts), and contribute toward Gold, Platinum, and Diamond certifications by the RIAA among other and global charts.
Since Dave Macli and David Ponte launched the service in 2012, Audiomack has helped break future superstars including Roddy Ricch and Rod Wave and debuted exclusive releases from the likes of Nicki Minaj, Eminem and Chance the Rapper. It has additionally helped break several African stars, including Omah Lay and Davido, internationally.
Universal Music Group has also announced its partnering with short-form video app – TikTok in a bid to promote ambitious experimentation, innovation and collaboration.