Trace to launch separate Trace Urban feed for South Africa

Olivier LaouchezTrace is planning to launch a separate, dedicated feed of its flagship music channel, Trace Urban, in South Africa later this year.

Speaking to DTVE, Trace Group co-founder, chairman and CEO, Olivier Laouchez said the new feed would be available on MultiChoice’s DStv pay TV platform and marks part of a wider localisation strategy by Trace.

“Right now we use the same [Trace Urban] feed for South Africa and the rest of Anglophone Africa. We are going, in fact, to make a separate feed for South Africa and another feed for the rest of Anglophone Africa. Each should be available by the end of November,” said Laouchez.

The news comes in the same week that Trace launched a new Portuguese-language music network in Angola and Mozambique, called Trace Toca.

Though Trace Toca was mainly developed with these two African markets in mind, Laouchez said the firm is now “thinking of introducing the channel also to Europe” – and not only in Portugal. In France alone there are some 4.5 million people with origins that can be traced to Portugal, Angola or Mozambique, said Laouchez, who added that Trace’s ambition is to launch Trace Toca in Europe before the end of the year.

Talking about Trace’s broader expansion plans, Laouchez said: “Trace is a growth company. There are some very important trends in the marketplace – localisation is one of them. We will always be more relevant with a localised channel that really feeds the local languages, so we are thinking also of a Spanish speaking music channel.

“We might even decide to launch some Lingala, Swahili, Aruban language channels for Africa. So we’ve got a number of localisation initiatives that we are developing ourselves. We are also having some discussions with local partners who’d like to really help us drive this localisation effort.”

Though Equatorial Guinea is the only country in Africa with Spanish as its official language, Laouchez claims that an African-based, Spanish-speaking music channel would have the potential to be exported elsewhere – namely Latin America and Spain.

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