Spotify is reportedly considering buying its MENA-focused rival Anghami.
That’s according to a report published by Dubai-based Frankly magazine. Arabian Business also carried the news.
Anghami listed on the NASDAQ in New York in February via a merger with a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company.
The music streaming company entered into a definitive merger agreement in March 2021, which valued Anghami at $220 million.
The article cites a source as saying that “The idea was that Anghami would go public if Spotify showed interest in an acquisition, so a SPAC was proposed to speed up the takeover”.
The report says that a Spotify spokeswoman commented that: “We have no news to report regarding a potential acquisition between Spotify and Anghami.”
Anghami declined to comment, according to the report.
Middle East and North Africa Focused Anghami is a specialist in Arabic content, claiming to be the first music-streaming platform in the MENA region.
Anghami, which says that “Arabic content is key” to its “future growth”, saw its active user base increase 46% year-over-year to 19.5 million users in H1.
The company reported that its subscriber growth was primarily due to “higher conversion rates of advertising-supported users to paying subscribers, as well as a higher number of Active Users”.
Spotify launched in the Middle East and North Africa in November 2018, with its regional headquarters based in Dubai.
In addition to Anghami, Spotify competes with the likes of Deezer and Apple Music in the markets.
Recorded music market revenues in MENA grew by 35% in 2021, according to IFPI, which, according to the org, confirmed it to be the fastest-growing music region in the world.
The IFPI reports that the market is predominantly made up of streaming, which represents 95.3% of the region’s recorded music revenues.
Anghami noted in August when it announced its H1 results that it has struck several partnerships in recent months to improve its position in the MENA region.
In February, Anghami announced an exclusive partnership with Egyptian artist and Arabic music megastar Amr Diab, the most streamed artist on the Anghami platform, with close to 1.2 billion streams. This exclusive partnership brought the singer’s entire audio and video catalog, as well as future releases, exclusively to Anghami.
In April, Anghami inked a strategic partnership with Rotana Music, claimed to be the largest record label in the Middle East.
Elsewhere, in July, Anghami acquired Spotlight Events, a live events company that specializes in creating and managing live events and concerts in the MENA region.
In Q3 2022 (the three months to end of September), Spotify added 7 million net Premium subscribers to its user base, taking its total global paying subs audience to 195 million. Spotify’s MAUs at the close of Q3 hit 456 million – up 23 million on the prior quarter.
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