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When it comes to music services in Africa, the bigger established countries like South Africa and Nigeria tend to hog the headlines. But there are DSPs and deals to report on across the continent.

One example today is from Ethiopia, where local streaming service Sewasew Media has bagged a big international partner: Universal Music Group.

The deal will see Sewasew license and market UMG’s international catalogue in Ethiopia, as well as music from its African subsidiaries Def Jam Africa, Motown Gospel Africa and Republic Records Africa.

“This partnership is a testament to Ethiopia’s growing importance in the global music industry, and we are confident that it will be a success for both companies,” said Sewasew MD Abraham F. in a statement.

The IFPI doesn’t track Ethiopia as an individual market, but it’s included in the global body’s estimates for Sub-Saharan Africa, which was the fastest-growing region for streaming in 2022 with growth in revenues of 38.1% – albeit to just $61m.

Like other streaming services in Africa, Sewasew doesn’t just license music from labels, it also works directly with artists. The company says it has signed more than 100 musicians and is starting to release exclusive albums with them this month.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight