The urban media company TRACE is expanding into the U.S. market with the launch of TRACE USA, a joint venture with shareholders such as Wyclef Jean.
TRACE is leading its foray in the U.S. with the streaming platform TRACE Play, which delivers subscribers the best in urban music and content from the U.S. and around the globe. TRACE Play will feature some 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.
Among the U.S. shareholders and advisors are Wyclef Jean; 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).
John Pasmore has been tapped to lead TRACE’s introduction in the U.S. Pasmore previously partnered with Russell Simmons on the media venture Oneworld.
Olivier Laouchez, the TRACE co-founder, group chairman and CEO, said: “After building the undisputed leading destination for afro-urban music and entertainment in Africa, France, the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, we are honored to be part of this U.S. 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 U.S.-based diasporas of African descent and multicultural fans of urban culture.”
Pasmore added: “TRACE is the only media company that has successfully connected urban youth and communities of color around the world while respecting their identities. Entering the U.S. market, we want to reach influential young, afro-urban consumers with innovative content that’s important to them, and culturally relevant in their daily lives. Our users and subscribers will find a voice that is unique and authentic with TRACE. Thanks to our linear and digital platforms, they can engage based on their personal preference, or can lean back and let TRACE curate an experience for them. Either way, TRACE is leading a diverse cultural movement that has been growing in the U.S., in Africa, in Europe, and around the world. We will now make sure that the TRACE experience is available everywhere in the U.S., including major cable operators that are looking for new, appealing and viable minority-owned independent networks.”