Universal Music, Samsung Launch Mobile Music Service for Africa

The streaming service, dubbed The Kleek, will initially be free.

Vivendi's Universal Music Group sees the potential to develop music stars and reach more music fans across Africa. On Wednesday, the company unveiled a pan-African mobile music streaming service in partnership with Samsung and African and international music labels.

The service, dubbed The Kleek, will initially be free. It is designed and built to bring fans across the continent their favorite music and give artists access to a wider pan-African audience, the music major said.

“By investing in the Kleek we’re providing a platform for the very best of African talent to reach a wider audience," said Max Hole, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group International. "With the explosion of smartphones and other mobile devices, the Kleek has the potential to attract tens of millions of music fans across Africa.”

The companies didn't detail names of artists whose music will be available on the service.

“With the Kleek, we are not just delivering the best local and international music, we are providing all of Africa with a unique and bespoke user experience,” said Randall Abrahams, managing director, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. “The service will also help us focus on developing future stars from across the continent."
Through the Kleek application, users will get access to music, artist, genre and celebrity playlists, album previews, artist diaries and charts.
Samsung will be the exclusive smartphone partner for the service for the first two years.

UMG and the tech firm unveiled The Kleek at the Samsung Africa Forum in Cape Town. Singer-songwriter Zahara, 25, performed songs from her award-winning debut album "Loliwe" at the launch event.
“Samsung recognizes that the African market is very different to that of its European, Asian and American counterparts," said Thabiet Allie, head of content and services at Samsung Electronics Africa. "We are thus, through our Built for Africa initiatives, focused on building services and partnering with the best local and international content owners, and this partnership is testament to that."

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Twitter: @georgszalai