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

6 October 2017

Top Story

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”.


Digital Content Africa is a fortnightly e-letter covering TV and film, music, social media, media, digital advertising and other digital content and services. It’s essential reading for anyone interested in Africa’s digital transition. We have already produced 96 issues and these can be viewed on this link.

Typical Top Stories will keep your finger on the pulse and have included:

iflix plans to turn African VoD market on its head and projects 2 million users in two years, local commissions under way

Kwesé TV signs distribution deals with Africa’s mobile operators for Kwese Play Roku box and mobile streaming – 40% of channels exclusive

Ad Boycott of You Tube hits African creators and channel operators as revenues sink – Brands need to know it’s costing African jobs

Africa-based Trace TV launches TracePlay, first urban and afro urban mobile pay platform globally –“We’re doing in 2 weeks what Netflix did in 10 years.”

If you would like to subscribe, just send an email to with Digital Content Africa in the title line.

Smart Monkey TV is our web TV channel that tracks what Africa’s Creators and Innovators are saying and doing. It now has 1846 subscribers. The latest video clip interviews that are relevant for you are below. Subscribe by clicking on this link:

Comrade Fatso on Zambesi News, a comic parody of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation news

Faruk Dalhatu on Dandal Kura Radio, Maiduguri's station at the heart of the Boko Haram conflict

Keni Ogunlola on his TV comedy series Lodgers, writing an AY film and working with Mo Abudu

Kunle Afolayan on the 3 films he made in the last 12 months: Omugwo. Roti and Tribunal

Jay Franklyn Jituboh on his latest film Dinner on Netflix and his two next film projects

Izu Ojukwu on his current film 76 and his forthcoming film about warrior Queen Amina of Zazzau

Walt Banger on his Nollywood Noir film and his next film Area Dogs

Moses Babatope, Executive Producer, The Wedding Party on The Wedding Party Pt 2 Destination Dubai

Serge Noukoue on why Nollywood Week is in Paris and his future plans for the festival

Peter Langmead on Zambia's first musical feature film Damyna

Riccardo Pasqualotto on how Mobihunter represents both brands and online publications across Africa