January 23, 2011 03:01 ET

IODA Africa Launches to Bring Local, Sub-Saharan African Music to Fans Throughout the Continent and Around the World

In Partnership With Sony Music Entertainment, IODA Expands International Presence With First to Market Advantage in Emerging African Music Market

CANNES, FRANCE--(Marketwire - January 23, 2011) -  IODA, the global leader in digital distribution, marketing, and technology solutions for the independent music industry, today announces the launch of IODA Africa, the first global, digital music distribution network in Sub-Saharan Africa. The launch of IODA Africa marks an important milestone for IODA's growing international presence, its collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment (SME) and its focus on independent music coming out of this dynamic region. The announcement was made today at the MIDEM 2011 Conference in Cannes, France.

In Sub-Saharan Africa mobile subscribers -- currently estimated at 195 million -- grow at a rate of 250,000 new subscribers per day. Mobile technology has enabled Africa to skip a generation and take advantage of the global digital music infrastructure already in place. Innovative deals with Africa's mobile leaders will provide IODA Africa with access to more than 20 new territories and nearly 100 million potential customers.

"Africa is the second largest and most populous continent after Asia, yet almost entirely unexplored as a market for digital music distribution," commented Keith Lister, Managing Director, SME Africa. "Africa is synonymous with wonderfully vibrant, original and diverse music traditions -- despite its piracy and infrastructure challenges. SME looks forward to working with IODA to deliver a legitimate digital distribution solution in which rights holders across the African region are properly compensated for their copyrighted works."

IODA Africa has already begun to sign global deals with leading African independent labels and content holders, including Rockstar 4000 and Africori.

Rockstar 4000 is the first major Pan African 360 music company to focus on contemporary popular music, radio playlists and clubs from Lagos to Libreville, Dakar through Accra, Nairobi, Luanda and the Seychelles in addition to traditional, gospel and world music. The Rockstar family represents a vast list of some of the biggest stars in Africa today, including multi-platinum selling Rose Muhando, Ali Kiba, Professor Jay and Lady Jaydee (Tanzania), multi-award winners Samini (Ghana), Fally Ipupa (DRC); 2Face Idibia, J Martins (Nigeria); Taygrin (Malawi); Jimmy Gait, Amani, Wyre, Daddy Owen (Kenya); JK, Exile (Zambia); Movaizhaleine (Gabon); Navio, Radio & Weasel, and Blu3 (Uganda).

Africori is a digital music aggregator and B2B infrastructure & solutions provider for African music companies such as independent labels, publishers, producers and artists. Key labels include African Cream, Eppel Sauce and artists such as Gang of Instrumental and Loyiso. In addition to synch licensing opportunities and digital distribution through IODA, Africori offers brand development and strategy through its partner agency Keevision. Africori recently released close to 400 recordings from the International Library of African Music, an important contribution to the world's digital music library.

"IODA Africa is defining a new era for music from Africa. Never before could fans across the world access and purchase their favorite music from Africa through credible digital services and one centralized catalog," said Jandre Louw, founder and CEO of Rockstar 4000 Music & Entertainment. "Our partnership with IODA Africa creates instantaneous worldwide distribution as well as formal rights management, touring and a complete 360 degree music approach. We are thrilled to provide artists and music across this diverse continent with a proven platform through which fans anywhere in the world can access their music."

These signings add a new and important component to IODA's worldwide catalog of labels, which already includes leading world music imprints like Forchots Cantos, Sterns, and World Circuit, all dedicated to releasing music from the continent. IODA Africa is focused on the less internationally known but wildly popular local artists that have rabid fan bases in their home territories. This vital combination of content enables IODA Africa to distribute the most valuable catalog of African music available to online listeners.

"The thriving domestic music scene in Sub-Saharan Africa is unique and remains out of reach to the majority of the world's music fans. In fact, it remains largely out of reach to South African, Senegalese, Nigerian, Ghanaian and other African communities living abroad who have limited access to the local artists and music they love," said Kevin Arnold, founder and CEO of IODA. "Our shared passion to expose this music to a wider global fan base is what makes this partnership so exciting."

About IODA

IODA, the Independent Online Distribution Alliance, is one of the industry-leading digital distribution companies for the global independent music and video community. IODA provides comprehensive services to record labels, physical distributors, artists, and filmmakers, including license negotiations; media encoding and metadata management; royalty payment administration and reporting; and marketing and promotional support. Founded in 2003 in San Francisco, IODA now has operations in New York, London, Tokyo, Barcelona, Stockholm and Johannesburg. The company represents a rapidly expanding roster of more than two million music tracks and thousands of independent film and video titles. IODA distributes its music and video catalog to hundreds of digital storefronts worldwide, including all major digital music services like iTunes®, Amazon MP3 and MySpace Music and mobile carriers and outlets such as Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Nokia. The company's website is

About Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

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