TRACE Urban founder launches brand in Nigeria

Trace Urban founder, Olivier Laouchez.

By Seyi Lawal

The official media launch of the global TRACE brand in Nigeria was held yesterday, September 22, 2011 at the Annex Explorer room of the Federal Palace hotel, Victoria Island. The international urban music channel has set up an office in Lagos to reach Nigeria and other Anglophone countries.

“Nigeria is the place to be!” said Olivier Laouchez, founder of the music channel. “We are inspired by the vibrant music scene, the electrifying artists, great music videos and the passionate creative spirit. Nigerian artists are the hub of the continent’s growing music entertainment industry and our expansion into Anglophone West Africa grew from our desire to be a part of the excitement and to promote African music globally”.

This move is set to transform the fixture in the Western African entertainment industry, with a focus on Nigeria and Ghana.  With all of these developments, the network is purposefully not going to transform TRACE Urban into a “Nigerian” channel. TRACE is a global media brand and not just a TV channel but an experience offering digital platforms, radio, events and concerts all of which are eventually destined for the region.

At the press conference, the music channel also officially announced it’s partnership with a couple of already established brands within the Nigerian entertainment circle including Project Fame West Africa Season 4 and Hennessy Artistry 2011 facilitated by Entertainment Management Company (EMC).

“We are very proud to have selected EMC as the representative for TRACE in the region to commercialise the channel and integrate with artists, viewers and other stakeholders.”

Also speaking at the conference, Sam Onyemelukwe, Head of TRACE Urban Anglophone West Africa and M.D. of EMC, emphasised that the music channel is ready to takeover the keenly contested television primetime viewership.

“We are very excited to be on the ground,” he said. “With this move, we build on the origins and mission of TRACE and we are set to increase the playlist with home-grown music videos and offer more opportunities for artists, advertisers and viewers, but that’s just the beginning. As a Nigerian, I’m proud that we recognize the huge strides our music and entertainment industry has made and the incredible cross over potential of our artists and TRACE Urban is a major supporter of our talent.”

Citing the data managing company, Media Planning Services, Onyemelukwe revealed that TRACE Urban is acknowledged as the most watched in public places all over Africa – and it is already the number one music TV channel in South Africa with commanding ratings of 44% market share in prime time and the coolest TV channel and coolest Music TV channel in the influential Generation Next awards for 3 years running. The channel is available on the “access” DSTV bouquet available to the largest number of viewers and consistently ranks in the top 10 channels on DSTV with 37% of viewers in primetime. He also announced that selected TRACE Urban content is now spread to local terrestrial channels, Galaxy TV and NTA to reach a wider audience with prospects to spread to more Free TV channels across Africa.

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