Trace will turn 20 on 27 April 2023. The Success Story of Afro-urban Cultures is in its prime, with 29 television channels, 50 FM and digital radio stations, an audiovisual production studio, digital platforms, 280 employees, and 13 subsidiaries worldwide. Trace is popular both at home and internationally, reaching 350 million viewers and listeners in 190 countries.
Olivier Laouchez, a Martinican entrepreneur committed to equal chances, was the spark that ignited this beautiful journey. His primary driving force was to offer a solution for the underexposure of French-speaking hip hop & afro artists on audiovisual media. In 20 years, together with his team, he has established Trace as a global authority on Afro-urban cultures and the success of young people.
TRACE’S HISTORY IN FOUR KEY DATES
April 2003 : The first Trace channel (Trace TV), which was initially broadcast on Canal+ offers in France, the Caribbean, and French-speaking Africa, was launched after four difficult years of trying to find the necessary financing and distribution agreements.
March 2006 : The group’s initial diversification towards FM radio.Trace FM was first launched in Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Guyana, and subsequently in Kenya, the DRC, Senegal, and the Ivory Coast. Additionally, three DAB+ Trace radios are available from 2018 in Paris, Marseille, and Nice.
November 2007 : Launch of the Trace Urban channel in English on Multichoice’s (DStv) satellite networks, the continent’s top pay-TV provider in English and Portuguese-speaking Africa. With this step, Trace’s TV format will be approved for use in foreign markets. To promote the global explosion of Afro-urban cultures, 27 localised Trace channels will debut after this.
May 2021 : Transforming Trace into a company with a purpose. The group rallies under its mission statement, “to entertain and make its audiences successful.” Along with its historical media initiatives, Trace is introducing the Trace Academia platform to help the hundreds of millions of young people who cannot pursue higher education, particularly in Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean, but also in Europe, find educational and employment opportunities. The first entirely free online video platform, Trace Academia, offers entrepreneurship, trades, and soft skill training as well as access to job prospects.
What’s next ? Digital services and content are two priority objectives
Trace is supported by two pillars: content and digital services, to adapt to changing applications and audience demands.
The group recently acquired a studio in Cape Town, South Africa, which produces audiovisual programmes for Trace as well as for its partners, like Canal+, Netflix, France Télévisions, Showmax, SABC, E-TV, TV5, etc., in order to expand its know-how and its production capacities for premium content. To make the voices, stories, and messages of Trace audiences known and shared, Trace platforms will increasingly integrate editorial, social, fiction, and expression programmes through Trace Studios.
On the digital front, Trace will introduce Trace+ in June 2023. This new global audio and video streaming platform was created in collaboration with the French agency WIZ. Afro-descendant diasporas, followers of Afro-urban cultures and music, and Afro-urban producers will all be interacting on the same platform through Trace+, engaging in editorial and educational experiences that are similar to and bring them together.
Trace+ will provide all users with access to the current Trace content, including TV channels, radios, VOD, e-learning, news, and events. It will also gradually roll out new services, including e-commerce, money transfers, mobile money, gaming, and dating, as demanded by its users.