World’s most popular audio streaming subscription service, Spotify Technology, has announced entering into a definitive agreement to acquire Parcast, a premier storytelling-driven podcast studio, though terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019 and subject to customary closing conditions.
Since its establishment in 2016, Parcast has launched 18 premium podcast series including Serial Killers, Unsolved Murders, Cults and Conspiracy Theories and the studio’s first fiction series, Mind’s Eye.
When the acquisition is finalised, Parcast will bring to Spotify its curated library of highly produced shows and its engaged, loyal audiences.
With an expertise in genres touching mystery, crime, science fiction, and history, Parcast has shown it has depth in subject matter and the ability to develop audiences across its robust network. Additionally, Parcast has more than 20 new shows slated to launch later this year.
“The addition of Parcast to our growing roster of podcast content will advance our goal of becoming the world’s leading audio platform,” said Dawn Ostroff, Spotify Chief Content Officer. “Crime and mystery podcasts are a top genre for our users and Parcast has had significant success creating hit series while building a loyal and growing fan base. We’re excited to welcome the Parcast team to Spotify and we look forward to supercharging their growth.”
“In three years, we have created a production house that has grown exponentially and hit a chord with mystery and true-crime fans, especially women, across all 50 states and around the world. We are proud to join the world’s most popular audio subscription streaming service and gain access to one of the largest audiences around the world,” said Max Cutler, Founder and President of Parcast. “Alongside Spotify, our ability to scale, grow and amplify the unique and tailored brand of content we create is full of fantastic possibilities.”
Temple Company Seals Marketing Deal With Zee World
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
A marketing deal has been signed between the Temple Company and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, owners of the Zee World TV channel.
It was gathered that Zee Entertainment picked the full-service creative agency based in Nigeria as its representative in the country and it is believed that it is to drive industry growth.
The Temple Company will interface with public sector organisations, looking to leverage its widely accepted platforms to their advantage.
According to the Indian television station, the partnership will present a unique advantage that decision-makers can leverage to better connect with Nigerians.
Speaking on the new deal, the founder of the Temple Company, Mr Idris Olorunnimbe, noted that the partnership was in line with the goal of the company to foster cross-border collaboration that will help drive growth for both Indo-Nigerian creative industries.
“We were ready for this collaboration long ago. When we launched The Temple Company, we had our job cut out to attract strategic collaborations that would impact positively on the creative economies across territories,” he noted.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Sub-Saharan African and Indian Islands, Zee Entertainment, Mr Somnath Malakar, expressed optimism about the partnership and noted that this deal will promote Zee Entertainment goal to present sectoral growth.
“We are certainly excited to partner with The Temple Company which positions us to collaboratively unlock the opportunities presenting themselves in Nigeria, the biggest and fastest-growing TV market in Africa,” Mr Malakar noted.
Zee World debuted on the Nigerian television scene in February 2015 and has over the years proved to be a favourite among Nigerian families, especially the females.
This follows the latest MPS data ratings, which noted that the channel commands a viewership base of up to one-fifth of the entire Nigerian Pay-TV landscape, making it a desired platform for advertisers.
Zee World channel has been ranked as Nigeria’s most-watched TV channel across all platforms.
Nigerian-born Ayobola Kekere-Ekun Shines at 2021 Absa L’Atelier
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Nigerian-born Ayobola Kekere-Ekun has been selected as one of the winners of the prestigious 2021 Absa L’Atelier at an online event hosted on the Absa Art Hotspot.
The artist was among the finalists from Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya and Namibia.
She is among the one ambassador per group chosen from the three groups of African countries. The others are Adelheid von Maltitz from South Africa and Blebo Michael Jackson from Ghana, while the winner Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto category was Abongile Sidzumo.
Absa, in partnership with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA), hosts the event to celebrate African art.
These winning artists now take on the title of Absa L’Atelier Ambassador 2021 received trophies that depict hands, symbolising the physical manifestation of creation, designed, and produced by established South African artist Roberto Vacarro, while the Gerard Sekoto trophy depicts a bull, representing prosperity and resilience.
Since its inception 35 years ago, Absa L’Atelier has showcased and continues to invest in some of Africa’s finest young artists between the ages of 21 to 40.
This year, the competition established itself as the first African art competition to be hosted completely virtually; from entry, submission and adjudication of the artworks, to hosting a series of masterclasses and a mentorship programme for the 2019 Absa L’Atelier ambassadors, culminating in the online awards ceremony.
Entries were received from across Africa and judged by an independent panel of adjudicators including acclaimed artist and Director at BKhz, Banele Khoza as well as Armelle Dakouo, independent curator and artistic director at AKAA Art & Design Fair.
Criteria for selecting the Ambassador included technical execution, conceptual and thematic engagement, the freshness of artistic vision within the context of the contemporary African art landscape; as well as aesthetic appeal.
Established 17 years ago, the Gerard Sekoto award goes to a South African artist, aged between 25 and 35 years, who has continued to demonstrate integrity in the quality of their artwork.
The award is made possible by the Embassy of France in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), which is the cultural arm of the Embassy, and the Alliance Française network in South Africa.
“With our partners Absa and SANAVA, we are proud to support the Gerard Sekoto award and to accompany young artists to share their work both nationally and internationally.
“We believe in this award which grants a talented young South African artist an amazing opportunity: to expand his or her horizons with a 3-month artistic residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and, of course, gain greater exposure as a result.
“The artists are inspired and inspire. They learn, and they teach. They explore, and exhibit, allowing people in France and in South Africa to learn more about their individual style and vision”, says Aurelien Lechevallier, who is France’s Ambassador to South Africa.
Though COVID-19 provided its challenges, the past two years were likewise a period of innovation and technological progression.
“The pandemic has allowed us to advance our digital art presence with the launch of the Absa Art Hotspot. This unique virtual experience platform made it possible for us to host live events such as webinars, art exhibitions, art masterclasses, and art auctions, while certain elements of our art-related sponsorships and partnerships such as this year’s awards event were also migrated to the platform,” says Paul Bayliss Senior Specialist Art Curator at Absa.
Hosting the competition digitally allowed for the removal of any barriers to entry as all the artist required was a smart phone or access to the internet.
“With this year’s theme The Act of Art, we called our continent’s fearless creators to act and to enter. This years’ competition once again provided an opportunity for visual artists to respond and make their voices heard.
“We are committed to putting the basic building blocks in place to ensure that young artists from across the African continent can reimagine their futures and bring their possibility to life,” says Bayliss.
SANAVA President, Dr Avitha Sooful, commended her partner, Absa, for forging ahead and continuously seeking ways to impact the African visual arts scene even during the ongoing pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic derailed our plans for 2020 but through some innovative thinking, we were able to come back stronger this year and we actually have more entries than we have ever had for this competition. I commend the work that our partners, Absa, have done in making sure that African artists continue to reap the rewards of their hard work,” Dr Sooful said.
“We look forward to working with this year’s ambassadors and Gerard Sekoto winner and providing the next generation of young African artists with the support, recognition, and exposure they need to solidify their careers and build their brands,” concluded Bayliss.
Glo Promises Dance Competition Winners N84m
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
Telecommunications solutions service provider, Globacom, has announced that it will be giving out N84 million to winners of the Glo Battle of the Year dance competition.
This was revealed by the company at a press conference on Wednesday, October 14 in Lagos. The firm, which is sponsoring the dance show, assured that the competition would redefine the entertainment industry in Nigeria.
According to the Director at Globacom’s Communications, Mr Andre Beyers, the contest will offer unlimited opportunities for Nigerian youth to pursue their passion.
“In line with our commitment to promoting the Nigerian entertainment industry and youth talent development across the country, we are excited to unleash the unlimited potential of Nigerian dancers and provide the platform for them to showcase their abilities on the world stage,” he noted.
Apart from the N84 million, the winners will get a chance to represent Nigeria at the international Battle of the Year contest in Germany.
The competition is scheduled to take place across six states, with intending contestants required to upload a 30-second entry video, after which the top 20 entries in each category would be selected to partake in the competition.
The Battle of the Year competition is an annual international breakdancing tourney that began in Hannover, Germany, over 20 years ago.
The regional qualifying tournaments are held worldwide and culminate in the world finals, usually held in Germany, with over 12,000 visitors across the world. It is widely regarded as the World Cup of breakdancing.
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