If and when Spotify launches in Africa, it won’t just find Apple Music waiting for it with (metaphorical) teeth bared. Apple’s Platoon artist-development subsidiary has also been working hard to forge relationships with artists in several African countries.
CEO Denzyl Feigelson has been talking to Billboard about the strategy, which has seen Platoon “offering advances, distribution and support to 88 African musicians — and quietly becoming a major player amid an industry wide shift toward establishing a larger footprint on the continent”.
Feigelson sees Platoon’s work as about creating self-sufficiency for artists in the region. “I want artists to be able to manage their music on our platform; get services like health care, legal and accounting; learn about publishing, touring, how you market; and conquer things like YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Twitch,” he said.
The strategy is paying off for Platoon too: according to the article, some months Africa accounts for 40% of the company’s business.