TikTok strikes licensing deal with Warner-backed Rotana Music Group – Music Business Worldwide
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TikTok strikes licensing deal with Warner-backed Rotana Music Group – Music Business Worldwide

TikTok has struck a licensing agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Rotana Music Group.
Established in 1993, Rotana Music Group is claimed to be “the largest record label and music repertoire holder in the Arab world”.
Warner Music Group bought a minority stake in Rotana Music in February 2021.
Rotana is headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with branches in Jeddah, Dubai, Kuwait, Cairo, and Beirut.
The company has released music from prominent artists including Mohamad Abdo, Abdulmajeed Abdullah, Rabeh Saqer, Rashed Al Majed, Abdullah Al Ruwaished, Nawal Al Kuwaitia, Majid Al Mohandis and other stars from the Gulf region.
Rotana’s catalog also includes music by artists such as Amr Diab, Elissa, Tamer Hosny, Najwa Karam, Shereen Abdalwahab, Angham, Wael Kfoury, Saber Al Robae, and others from the Levant, Egypt and North Africa.

TikTok says that its platform is “hugely popular across the Middle East and North Africa”, a region where recorded music market revenues grew by 35% in 2021, according to IFPI.
That growth, according to the IFPI, confirmed MENA to be the fastest-growing music region in the world.

The IFPI reports that the MENA music market is predominantly made up of streaming, which represents 95.3% of the region’s recorded music revenues.
Statista estimates that Saudi Arabia was the country with the highest TikTok reach as of January 2022, with 88% of the countrys population aged 18 and older using the video app.
Rotana Music also signed a partnership with MENA-focused music streaming service Anghami in April last year, which has seen Rotana’s content made available on the platform worldwide.
Music released by Rotana was previously available on Deezer exclusively in the MENA region since 2018.
“We at Rotana are very thrilled with this licensing agreement, which will facilitate Arab Music reach into the MENA music industry and young communities.”
Salem Al Hendi, Rotana Music Group
Mr. Salem Al Hendi, CEO, Rotana Music Group, said: “We at Rotana are very thrilled with this licensing agreement, which will facilitate Arab Music reach into the MENA music industry and young communities.
“The creative culture in MENA is so vibrant and diverse, and this agreement will enhance the exchange of music content, while promoting and supporting local artists on a proven leading platform for short-form videos.
Hari Nair, Head of Music – Middle East, Africa and South Asia, added: “As TikTok continues to grow across the Middle East and North Africa, becoming a cultural force in the region, we’re delighted to bring the biggest independent catalog to our platform.”
Hari Nair, TikTok
Hari Nair, Head of Music – Middle East, Africa and South Asia, added: “As TikTok continues to grow across the Middle East and North Africa, becoming a cultural force in the region, we’re delighted to bring the biggest independent catalog to our platform.
“Rotana Music Group represents some of the greatest names in music, spanning multiple genres and countries and we know our community will be inspired by this repertoire for their own video creations.
“TikTok is committed to licensing and ensuring a broad, diverse range of sounds in our library for our global community to enjoy.”
In other TikTok news, Bloomberg reported in November that the three majors, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group are asking TikTok for a share of advertising revenues generated on the platform.
As covered by MBW in July, the major record companies have struck so-called ‘buy-out’ agreements with TikTok, which see the platform pay a lump sum to use licensed music across its service from a major’s catalog for two-year periods.
The Financial Times reported in November that the social media giant was cutting its global revenue target for 2022 by 20%, or by at least $2 billion, amid a decline in advertising spending and e-commerce.

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