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Entertainment company Trace enters the US

MUMBAI: Trace has announced its expansion into the US market. This the international urban media company has done by launching a joint venture, Trace USA, with key American media shareholders.

Since its initial launch in the US and UK 20 years ago as a niche print magazine, Trace has become a leading global Afro-urban media company. To date, Trace operates 30 digital and mobile services, 21 paid TV channels, 7 FM radio stations, and develops and produces premium content and syndication activities reaching 59 million paid TV subscribers and over 200 million viewers, listeners and mobile users across 160 countries worldwide.

As part of its launch, Trace is leading its foray in the US with an innovative streaming platform, TRACE Play (www.traceplay.tv), which delivers subscribers the best in urban music and content from the US and around the globe, including 2,000 hours of on-demand programming, 30 digital radio stations, 9 live TV feeds, and the soon-to-be launched Trace Prime TV network.

Trace USA is majority owned by African-American media experts and content creators who bring their knowledge of the US entertainment industry and significant social influence. Among the US shareholders and advisors are long time Trace supporters Wyclef Jean joined by FUBU TV founder and FUBU co-founder, J Alexander Martin, JKD Entertainment’s Karlie Lewis and Dora Din Whittley, and TV and movie producers, Rob Marriott (Xango Republic) and Tonya Lewis Lee (Tonik Productions).

“After building the undisputed leading destination for Afro-urban music and entertainment in Africa, France, the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, we are honoured to be part of this US venture with great partners. Trace has a unique editorial approach, socially connected and rooted at the intersection of American hip-hop culture, Afrobeat movement, and Caribbean sounds. This resonates particularly well with the millions of US-based diasporas of African descent and multicultural fans of urban culture,” declared, the Trace co-founder, group chairman and CEO Olivier Laouchez, who acquired the Trace brand and magazine in 2003 with a group of investors led by Goldman Sachs New York.

Leading Trace’s introduction in the US is media veteran John Pasmore, who for many years partnered with Russell Simmons on the media venture, Oneworld, which recognized early on the international appeal of urban culture. Pasmore’s rich portfolio and experience spans across content, digital, cable, interactive, print, IPTV and mobile.