Michael Ugwu

Founder CEO: Freeme Digital

Michael is Founder and CEO of Freeme Digital Ltd. Freeme Digital is the premier 3rd party Label Services & Digital Distribution company in Nigeria with a growing array of artists, comedians and content owners from across the West African region using the content production, marketing and distribution services of the platform. Michael is also the Founder of The Freeme Space a state of the art digital production studio and sound stage in Lagos Nigeria. Michael was also the pioneer General Manager for Sony Music Entertainment West Africa, one of the largest record labels in the world. With Sony Music Michael represented a catalogue of over 5 million records from some of the world’s greatest local and international talents ranging from Afropop superstars such as Wizkid and Davido to global talents such as Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Travis Scott, Future and many more.

In his first foray into the entertainment industry 10 years ago Michael was the CEO of iROKING Ltd (part of the iROKO Partners family). iROKING was set up to re-organise Nigerian music distribution online via its proprietary streaming/download platform iROKING.com. In 2011 Michael oversaw the initial iROKING.com content acquisition effort, signing 50 of Nigeria’s biggest artists to landmark licensing deals, and successfully renegotiating subsequent deals in 2013 before setting up Freeme Digital.

Michael is also currently an Investor/Director in a number of Nigerian startups including the popular Nigerian pop culture platform Vibe.ng

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New York/Barcelona, October 14, 2021. The Future Music Forum: Barcelona has merged with Music Industry City. The two firms will pool their resources to form Nybac Media Inc., which will supervise digital broadcasting, live events, and digital communities for its Music Industry City division.

Founded by music industry veterans, Peter Schwinge, former Partner and General Manager of New Music Seminar, and Founder of Moving Target Group, Mike McCready, Co-founder and CEO of Music Xray, and Niall Doorley, founder of Future Music Forum: Barcelona, Nybac Media provides an international platform that includes a broadcast network with the flagship, Music Industry News at Noon; audio drop-in talk shows and podcasts; year-round digital events; community building on the Music Industry City (MIC) website; and live events including the Future Music Forum: Barcelona.

According to Peter Schwinge, CEO and President, “This merger is a great opportunity for both companies as it will allow them to work together on projects more efficiently while expanding their reach to other areas globally where they would not have had access before. We are able to provide more opportunities for our users and partners and provide them with an opportunity to reach new audiences through the network.”

Nybac Media will rely on their deep industry connections to provide musicians access to industry experts through the MIC platform; equip the next generation of the music industry with tools, education, and networks; foster high-level discussions to affect positive change; and increase partners' access and visibility to the industry. 

“I'm delighted to announce our new partnership. I've spent the last 12 years building the Future Music Forum into what it is today, and perhaps the last 5-6 years actively seeking the ideal partner. It's ironic that it emerged at a time when the events business was perhaps in its most fragile state in living memory. I'm excited to see what we can do to help so many people advance in their careers as the industry begins to bounce back.” said Niall Doorley, Vice President and Head of Global Events.

The Music Industry City website has features for artists and people in the industry to interact in real time through communities and forums, live events, and a metaverse. The site also provides educational resources, online courses, and talks from industry leaders; health and wellness topics specifically tailored to the music industry; a personal and professional development section; a music discovery zone; and a local media outlet showcasing members and partners.

Nybac Media has offices in New York and Barcelona. The next, in-person Future Music Forum conference is set to take place in Barcelona on September 20-22, 2022.