Trace TV launches Content Distribution division to promote its Afro-Urban programmes in Africa and elsewhere – Acquiring from external producers

6 October 2017

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Since 2003 Olivier Laouchez’s Trace TV has been building an international position for itself around Urban and Afro-Urban music and culture. With its expansion into the USA in June this year, it has chosen to create a Content Distribution division and deepen its relationships with producers and directors. Russell Southwood spoke to

Anne-Laurence Ndaptje, Head of External Communications, Trace TV about what it wants to do with the new division.

The idea for the distribution was a logical extension of what it saw itself as doing:”Our CEO wanted to tackle the distribution area. Because we have been a producer of short content for over fourteen years, it was logical for TRACE to go this route into distribution. We’re focusing on Afro-Urban and Urban content producers and will support them in this way.”

It will be adding content it acquires from external producers. One of its primary goals is to also identify and target talent and help them to monetize and value their work. It’s talking about having thousands of hours of content in its catalogue in the future.

The existing content catalogue includes:

- TV series: Brothers with no game (UK), Crazy lovely Cool (Nigeria), Dreams (USA).

- Feature Films : Le Gang des Antillais (France); Wives on Strike (Nigeria)

- Documentaries: Salomon Kalou (football), The Year Of Afrobeats - From Nigeria to the world (music), Generation Papa Wemba (music)

- TV magazines/music programmes : Many different programmes but examples would include Guest Stars and The Year of, Urban Gossip.

(see catalog)

Ndaptje says the content is all about the common culture of Urban and Afro-Urban but not just music:” It’s deeply rooted in the Trace brand and our aim is to provide Afro-urban content. It’s content from Africans and those of African descent from around the world, living in places like France, the Caribbean and the USA. We really want to put the culture forward in all its different aspects from music to everyday life”.

So who is it targeting in Africa?:”We’re looking to sell to TV channels, mobile operators, cinema operators and in flight. Trace has a presence in the mobile area with its own TRACE Mobile licence  (which it also white labels).”

The Trace Content Distribution Division is headed up by Betty Sulty Johnson:”She has a background in film and cinema. She was the founder of an organization focused on Black women behind and in front of the camera. With that experience in the UK, she came back to France where she worked in distribution with France TV and then Lagardère Studios as a sales executive”.

Sulty Johson has nailed her colours to the mast by saying:” The creation of TCD responds to a need to ensure that there is better exposure for Afro-urban creators of world-class quality who are often not represented by traditional distributors. Our pledge is to make the content travel as much as possible and to target clients around the world willing to have diverse, quality content that their audience can indulge in”.

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