Universal Music Group’s plan to set up shop in Nigeria is a boost for its music industry

One of the world’s leading music conglomerates and an American global music corporation says it will open a new office in Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos as part of its move to expand operations in the West African region. This was revealed through a release on it global website last week.

Universal Music Nigeria will be under the supervision of Ezegozie Eze Jr., a seasoned music director with vast experience in the Nigerian entertainment scene. As the general manager, he will be handling the affairs of the group in the country and report to Sipho Dlamini, who oversees the affairs of the group in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sipho Dlamini, the Managing Director at Universal Music South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa made the “significant expansion” plans known to the media. He also expressed belief in Ezegozie Eze Jr. and his team in nurturing talents and creating opportunities for emerging music act to reach a large audience.

“In recent years there has been an increase in visibility of Nigerian and Ghanaian music and its influence on contemporary music around the world. Eze and his team are perfectly placed to support, nurture and help develop artists and musicians from the region, whilst creating opportunities for new talent from the region to reach the widest possible audience,” he said while announcing the launch of the new strategic office in Nigeria.

The emergence of UMG Lagos means business 

UMG is a subsidiary of Vivendi, a French mass media conglomerate based in Paris but has expanded its operations across the globe with offices in different countries of the world. With its strategic division in Lagos, this will definitely mark the dawn of a new era for the thriving entertainment industry and the numerous musical talents in the country.

In reinforcing its commitment to the advancement of music talents in the country, the group also revealed the list of artists it has signed to the label.

Nigerian born music act and fast-rising singer Augustine Miles Kelechi, who is popularly known as Tekno, and Mr Eazi headline the list of new signings into the label. They are joined by Ghanaian-born musicians Stonebwoy and Cina Soul and other Nigerian musicians like Odunsi (the Engine), WurID, and Tay Iwar.

Universal Music Group has continued to flourish over the decades as it parades the most iconic and influential labels & brands in music all over the world amongst which include DefJam Records, CashMoney Records, and Aftermath Entertainment.

Nigeria’s entertainment and music industry has a 12.1 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), (this has been strongly influenced by a surge in the spending on mobile Internet access), and will be the world’s fastest-growing Entertainment and Music market in the next five years. With the expansion of one of the world’s biggest music label’s worth a stunning $22 billion into Nigeria’s music scene, more revenue and investments in music will be added to the economy.

Also, with this new development, Universal Music Nigeria will certainly project the finesse of music prodigies in Nigeria and West Africa.

Nigeria to the world 

As contemporary African music steadily gains momentum by blending mostly Afrobeats with western hip-hop and traditional jazz music to the delight of music lovers in the continent, music has contributed immensely to the export of African ways and culture.

However, Nigeria’s music industry is plagued with a plethora of challenges ranging from constant rancours between record labels and artists to piracy. In most cases, artists get entrapped in overpowering deals with emerging record labels in the country. But things may be looking up for those seeking to join the industry.

According to information culled from its website, “UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world.” No doubt, its towering influence will drag Nigerian music into the global market and add Nigerian artistes to its vast catalogue of recordings and songs that also have artists like JayZ, Eminem, 2Pac, TheWeekend, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga.

Ostensibly, this is a boost to the Nigerian music industry which has remained one of the major sectors that have continued to contribute immensely to the economy of the nation. Music lovers can expect big collaborations and partnerships with global leading artists that are also under UMG labels in the future. Other stakeholders will also stand to gain from this deal as it translates to not just a rise in revenue for the country, but also artists and the music industry as a whole.


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