British music rights management organization PRS for Music has teamed up with music rights and metadata management software platform Orfium to license music in Africa.
Orfium was founded in 2015 in Los Angeles by Drew Delis and Chris Mohoney, with the goal, according to the company, of “bringing cutting-edge technology to the music rights management space”.
The company also has offices in Athens, London and Tokyo, with a global team of 300-plus.
According to the announcement, the partnership will see PRS expanding its licensing coverage to tens of millions of works in Africa, while Orfium will provide coverage including for public performances like live events, radio, cable TV and local and certain multinational online services.
The deal will also expand the reach of PRS’s royalty collection service for large concerts, Major Live Concert Service, to Africa.
PRS for Music says the partnership with Orfium builds on its existing agreement with SAMRO, the collecting society based in South Africa.
Under the alliance, Orfium will license the PRS repertoire and provide the technology infrastructure to serve the African market. The partnership will use Orfium’s proprietary software platform “to drive key speed, discovery and cost efficiencies for PRS”.
“The African music market is rapidly progressive, driven by a burgeoning homegrown music scene and a new generation of talented music creators.”
Sami Valkonen, PRS for Music
“The African music market is rapidly progressive, driven by a burgeoning homegrown music scene and a new generation of talented music creators. Orfium has both the expertise and tools necessary to ensure that songwriters, composers and publishers are paid when their music is being used across the African continent,” Sami Valkonen, PRS for Music’s Chief International Business Officer, said.
“This agreement was designed to be flexible, ensuring it can adapt and offer innovative solutions in markets where we are experiencing considerable change and growth,” added Valkonen.
“Over the last three years, we have invested heavily in building a state-of-the-art rights management platform to support our partners in the licensing and remuneration of music rights in the entertainment industry. Orfium looks forward to working with PRS as their trusted partner to support this incredible region.”
Rob Wells, Orfium
Rob Wells, CEO, Orfium, added: “We’re incredibly excited to partner with PRS for Music. Orfium exists to support and improve the global entertainment ecosystem so that creators everywhere can be paid fairly for their work.”
“Over the last three years, we have invested heavily in building a state-of-the-art rights management platform to support our partners in the licensing and remuneration of music rights in the entertainment industry. Orfium looks forward to working with PRS as their trusted partner to support this incredible region and contributing to Africa’s future as a high-growth music market,” Wells continued.
Earlier this year, the Wells-led company acquired London-based music reporting and audio recognition company, Soundmouse, a music reporting platform used by broadcasters and other media companies, including British broadcaster the BBC.
For PRS, the partnership further expands its offerings for songwriters and music rightsholders.
In September, the org launched a new online portal for songwriter and composer credits.
PRS’s latest Africa initiative comes amid the growth of the African music industry in recent years.
“For too long, Africa has been an afterthought for the global music industry. I want to build a sustainable business in Africa that can be seen as a standard bearer,” Temi Adeniji, Managing Director of Warner Music South Africa and SVP, Strategy, Sub-Saharan Africa, said in 2021.
Music Business Worldwide