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Trace moves forward with Music Stars competition

Laurent Dumeau

Laurent Dumeau

Modern Times Group (MTG)-backed youth-focused channel provider Trace kicked off its first Trace Music Stars competition this month, inviting would-be stars to phone in a performance on their mobile phones and potentially win a recording contract with Universal Music.

The competition, organised in collaboration with mobile partner Airtel, will run in 16 territories across sub-Saharan Africa. Contestants can call a premium number and phone in a peformance which is recorded and assessed.

Laurent Dumeau, CEO of Trace Sport Stars and senior vice president of distribution, Trace, speaking to DTVE at MIPCOM last week, said the South African version of the contest – organized in partnership with mobile provider Cell-C – had attracted 320,000 calls.

Dumeau said the revenue model for the competition differed from country to country. In South Africa, where the use of premium rate numbers for this type of application is not permitted, Cell C used the competition as a marketing opportunity. “In other markets you can charge a premium. You need at a minimum to share the production costs but we can also do revenue share deals, but for the mobile operators it’s mostly about marketing,” he said.

Dumeau said one of Trace’s big current ambitions is to launch in the US, using its relationship with MTG as a springboard. How to export the brand to the US market is still under discussion. “It’s still at the project stage,” he said.