All Posts

UMG & Mavins Stake Sale: These Music Executives Dive in.

In a press release which surfaced on Monday, February 26, 2024, apex Nigerian music label, Mavin Global was revealed to have sold a majority of its stake in investment shares to Global music conglomerate, Universal Music Group.

Mavin global’s stake sale comes after last year’s side chatters in which the Michael ‘Don Jazzy’ Ajereh (CEO) and Tega Oghenejobo (COO) led company was said to have been in pursuit for major investors or an outright sale of company’s assets, ultimately targeted at the Nigerian music company’s heightened global ambitions.

Only last year, Rema, a popular musician under the Mavin artist roster achieved immaculate global feats including becoming the first African artist ever to hit a billion stream mark on Spotify. Also, Ayra Starr, another incredible act under the company’s roster became the most viewed Nigerian female act on Youtube with over 300 million views and counting.

With Mavin’s increasing strides in the global market, it comes without a surprise that its equity shares will be an eye candy to a global giant such as UMG, a company reputable to be the world’s foremost music company.

The recent acquisition by UMG notably doesn’t reveal a particular valuation but states that UMG now holds a huge chunk of investment shares in the Nigerian company, with previous founding investors like Kupanda Capital retaining its role but this time under the capacity of minority investor, and global asset management agency, TPG stepping down as investors.

Also included in the press is the deal’s longevity period which will only last till the third quarter (Q3) of the year and is subjected to regulatory approvals from regulatory authorities.

As expected, the development between both parties has sparked conversations within the music community, especially in the African music ecosystem and this writer reached out to a few music executives who are pushing boundaries in the industry with the sole aim of fetching opinionated views on the subject matter.

Jide Okoro, Co-owner to fast-rising start-up music tech company, Josplay, in his words describes the partnership between UMG and Mavin has ”Great news for the African Music Business”. He is of the opinion that the move signifies value for Afrobeats and its stakeholders.

” One thing you can trust an entity like UMG to do is preserve the value of music by opening more distirbution channels and ensuring exploiter’s pay the music’s worth. I also foresee more mainstream inclusions and cross-cultural collaborations, of course advancement in the local music business framework, including legal, and perhaps more investments. I’m just not looking forward to the long chain of bureaucracy, just to do business. Did i forget to mention optimism for high value job opportunities?”

On the other hand, the start-up tech founder views the development as a two side of a coin as he envisions the dynamics making a huge shift, ” As the culture and creative direction will most likely be determined by commercial value only. I mean, we are already complaining about the saturation of log drums and dearth of authenticity in the sound. I also foresee immense tension breeding amongst the artist communities due to stiffer competition, the struggle to be seen. I wonder what this means for the yearnings for new authentic sounds. Not only the artists, the game will change for other local labels, the struggle to meet up. I’m hopeful more finance injections from other interests will rescue this situation. Who knows, maybe Choc City will be the next exit”.

Jideofor rounds up with his expressed enthusiasm in the case of UMG’s navigation towards the infamous issue with Tiktok, especially as it relates to Afrobeats catalogs, since music promotion on Tiktok has become inevitable in recent times”.

Unique Oliver, who occupies the prestigious role of music licensing executive & music supervisor ( Film & Tv) to Spring Sound Ltd, states that the stake deal between UMG and Mavin isn’t far-fetched, as in his own words, ”It is normal to have this kind of deal in other territories and seeing similar deals happen in Nigeria is good for the creative ecosystem”.

He further goes on to state that the industry at large shouldn’t necessarily be at the mercy of certain ambitious companies who do not understand the music business, but would rather purchase an hypothetical equity stake just for the feel of it and says partnership moves such as this kind will always make sense in the terrains of the “Big Three” (UMG, Sony, and Warner) or the top indie companies as well as companies invested in the growth of the African music ecosystem.

Unique however concludes by bringing to note the role of Boomplay and Mavin in the attraction of large scale investments to West Africa.

Finally, this writer soughted the opinion of Adetomiwa Shopade, CEO, Founder, The Upper Entertainment.

”I believe the recent acquisition of a majority stake in Mavin Records by Universal Music Group represents a monumental moment for African music and the Afrobeats genre as a whole. This partnership signifies a significant step forward in the growth and globalization of African music, opening up unprecedented opportunities for artists and the entire Afrobeats ecosystem.

With Universal Music Group’s extensive global reach and resources, Mavin Records now has the potential to expand its influence not only within Africa but also on the international stage. This acquisition paves the way for greater exposure and recognition of African talent worldwide, facilitating collaborations and cross-cultural exchanges that will further elevate the Afrobeats genre.

Furthermore, the continued leadership of Don Jazzy and his team ensures that Mavin Records will maintain its unique identity and strategic direction while benefiting from UMG’s expertise and support. Together, they have the potential to transform Mavin Records into a powerhouse within the pan-African entertainment industry, fostering innovation and growth for years to come.

In essence, Universal Music Group’s investment in Mavin Records heralds a new era of opportunity and expansion for African music, solidifying its position as a global cultural force and opening doors to a multitude of exciting possibilities for artists and fans alike”.

Share this post?

Join Our Community

Do you want to promote your music or brand? We’ve got you covered at The Upper Entertainment

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates directly to your inbox

Related Posts