Jungle Entertainment Ventures & Free Me Digital pull music from Boomplay Music

Artists like Falz, Adekunle Gold, Ajebutter 22, P Square and more have had their music

Jungle Entertainment Ventures and Free Me Digital, music distributors for many of our favourite musicians from Falz and Adekunle Gold to Ajebutter 22 and P Square have recently pulled their entire music catalogue from Boomplay Music. In a recent interview, General Manager of Boomplay Nigeria, Dele Kadiri, confirmed that as of January 2020, 80% of Boomplay Music’s 86 million user catalogue are Africans. In this interview, he also disclosed that the app has consistently ranked as the number 1 DSP in Africa for a while now, due to the pre-installation of the app on the TECNO Boom J7 music phone.

According to Canalys; a global technology market analysis firm, Tecno, itel and Infinix smartphones are in number 2, 3 and 5 positions respectively in a list of Africa’s top smartphone vendors. Given this, with Boomplay as the default music player on these smartphones, the streaming app saw a massive surge with these phone users.

With these seemingly large numbers, one would assume that there will be a symbiotic relationship between the streaming platform and the artists whose music they house, however, according to David Evans, CEO of Jungle Entertainment, this appears to not be the case at all. Earlier today, Evans announced that his distribution company will be removing their entire catalogue from the DSP in an Instagram Story, claiming that ‘the Chinese company with no Nigerian representation on their board has exploited the Nigerian music industry for long enough’

Speaking to The NATIVE, Evans said:

“Boomplay doesn’t provide any value for the music industry. They don’t have any advertising so they’re not getting more users, they also have the lowest per-stream rate around here. We’ve asked them to address some of these issues but they don’t seem to want to budge.

 They use our artists’ popularity and numbers to make themselves look good, but they don’t pay us or offer us anything that supports the industry.”

In April 2019, Tech Point reported that Boomplay recently inked a distribution deal with the Universal Music Group, which enabled them to licence the label’s catalogue for Boomplay’s multiple markets within Africa; Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. In addition, they also recently raised $20 million to develop their presence in Africa, in a Series A funding round, which was led by Maison Capital and Seas Capital.

These all make up what fuelled Evans’ decision to pull Jungle Entertainment’s music from the streaming site, as he tells The NATIVE that the distribution company hasn’t been paid ‘a single dime since Boomplay’s inception’. 

He continues:

We produce thousands of songs, hundreds of music video which cost us nothing less than 1 billion Naira altogether a year. If all the music distributors came together to actually calculate how much we’re spending, we can’t have foreigners just come and take this content, put it on their app which they have raised money to operate from investors. Not a single dollar has gone towards the advancement of the music industry and speaking for the music industry and for myself, it’s not acceptable. It’s almost like slavery.

For Evans, he doesn’t mind losing out on monetary gain as long as struggling artists whose work is being used are getting support in some form for their music. He relays that during the pandemic, Jungle Entertainment has received additional support from other music streaming sites with money that had been raised from their governments, yet, haven’t even received any royalties from Boomplay since they set up in Nigeria.

In his Instagram story earlier today, he confirmed that his move to remove Jungle Venture’s entire music catalogue was supported by Michael Ugwu, CEO of Free Me Entertainment, and Bugo Arinze of MAD Solutions. If all music distributors come together to remove their music from the DSP, it places other streaming platforms such as Audiomack who have set up in Nigeria with the aim to promote the best music out of the continent in a unique position.

*This story is developing 

The NATIVE has reached out to Boomplay for comment 

[Featured Image Credits Boomplay]

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