Anghami: the Arab world has its Spotify, which claims nearly 100 million users

Anghami has established itself in ten years as the most popular music streaming service in the Arab world (Maghreb + Machrek) and among its diaspora, with 98 million users, nearly 20 million active users and 1, 3 million paying subscribers. An impressive figure in a region where paying for music has not yet become commonplace.

Anghami (“my songs”, in Arabic) was launched by Eddy Maroun and Elie Habib in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2012. The two men had the idea of ​​surfing on the taste for music of the inhabitants of the Middle East. East and North Africa.

The streaming service has succeeded in retaining its audience by forging partnerships with around fifty mobile operators present in 20 countries in the MENA zone (North Africa and the Middle East). It recently signed such commercial agreements with Hallo in Denmark and Virgin Mobile in Kuwait. Kuwaitis who subscribe to Virgin Mobile now get free access to Anghami Plus, the paid segment of the streaming platform, for life. For their part, Danes can discover the Anghami catalog free of charge through Hallo’s phone plan, Fri Tale 200GB.

These partnerships allow Anghami to reach some of the 20 million foreign nationals who make up the Arab diaspora. “Music is part of Arab culture. And Arabs, young and old, cherish the ability to listen to their favorite songs wherever they are in the world.“said Choucri Khairallah, vice president of business development at Anghami, in a press release.

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Focus on Arabic music

In addition to these partnerships with telecommunications companies, the streaming service pays particular attention to its catalog. It claims 73 million songs, of which only 1% are in Arabic. However, these titles represent 60% of traffic on the platform, according to CNN. “We realize that we need to increase this 1%“, confided Elie Habib to the American media.

To do this, Anghami connects with very popular artists, such as Lebanese pop star Nancy Ajram and Egyptian singer-songwriter Amr Diab. The latter signed an exclusive contract with the company in February to allow his fans to enjoy exclusive content on the application.

In order to expand its Arabic musical repertoire, Anghami has also partnered with Sony Music Entertainment Middle East to launch Vibe Music Arabia. This new label is intended to support independent Arab artists from the Middle East and North Africa, and to encourage them to create music. “We see many talented songs and artists emerging in this region every day and we believe this is a real opportunity for an independent label to nurture these burgeoning musical communities and help them develop their craft.“, explained Eddy Maroun in a press release, at the time of the launch of Vibe Music Arabia.

$31.7 million in revenue

Audio content in Arabic is another loyalty lever for Anghami. The Lebanese company produces original podcasts in Arabic, while its competitors’ libraries contain very few. It has also approached the start-up Wajeez to offer its users short summaries of audio books in Arabic.

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These initiatives appear to be paying off: Subscription revenue grew 27% in the third quarter of 2022, while Anghami’s revenue climbed 29% year-on-year. It stands at $31.7 million, according to the company’s latest financial results.

And Anghami does not intend to stop there, especially now that it is listed on the American stock exchange Nasdaq. Indeed, the music streaming platform became, in February 2021, the first Arab technology company to go public on the New York stock exchange. A historic event that aroused envy. Bids have been plentiful, including one worth $400 million from television network Orbit Showtime Network, according to the agency. Bloomberg.

But given their dominant position in the Middle East and North Africa, Eddy Maroun and Elie Habib want to continue to grow Anghami. “When we started Anghami […] we never thought about IPOs, we never thought about the millions of users who use us every day“, Elie Habib told CNN. “The IPO is never the end — the end is to do something to be proud of“.

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Anghami: the Arab world has its Spotify, which claims nearly 100 million users

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