News & Trends

Spotify prepares to launch in MENA

Anghami’s position as the region’s biggest music streaming platform is coming under fire as a leaked email is released.

The world’s leading music streaming service is making its way to the Middle East and North Africa, according to Gulf News. The news site has reviewed an internal email from the streaming giant which clearly shows their intention to jump into the market by November.

The email, sent to a Dubai-based advertising agency, has a senior media executive describing how Spotify is looking for six brands to advertise ahead of November’s expected launch.

This creates a fiercer competition for the 3 streaming brands that are operating in the region. Lebanese Anghami, France’s Dezzer and Apple Music will soon have to implement strategies to strengthen their bonds with users if worried.

A Spotify spokesperson told Music Business Worldwide that “Spotify’s ultimate goal is to be available in every country, but we don’t currently have any news to share on a launch in the Middle East.”

The news comes after whispers of major music labels attempting to block the streaming platform’s efforts to launch in India. The streaming giant has also been trying to seal deals with artists directly to gain more profit, as the platform continues to operate at a loss even with over 180 million users.


Previous Clues and Headaches

This isn’t the first clue we’ve had to Spotify’s leap into MENA.

Earlier this year, the company released in public records that is leasing several regional offices, including one in the UAE. There have also been other hints, such as the company’s recent advertising for open positions such as a New York based senior editor for Arab Music Culture, a Dubai based CRM (customer relationship management) and social manager.

Unfortunately for the Swedish streaming service, they will be facing stiff competition.

Just last month, Dezzer announced a partnership with Rotana Group. Under the agreement, Deezer will distribute Rotana’s content across the Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Anghami has also recently been strengthening their claim in Egypt through an aggressive localized campaign.

Read more about it here: Live the Music; Anghami launches aggressive marketing campaign dedicated for Egypt

According to the email, Spotify is looking for six brands to advertise, at a cost of $200,000, by November. The email is said to indicate that the brand is pretty confident about its entrance into MENA.

The question is, just how strong will it grow here?

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