United Arab Emirates-based music streaming app Anghami has announced a new business venture called Lab, a project that will see music studios launched in several major cities across the globe including Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Beirut, Doha, London, New York and Los Angeles.
Anghami is a popular music streaming platform across North Africa and the Middle East region with offices in Beirut, Cairo, Dubai and Riyadh.
The news follows the company’s announcement in March that it would become the first Arab tech company and the second Arab business after Aramex to list on Nasdaq.
The studios will feature lounges, stages for performances, and a fusion of Arabic and international cuisine. Anghami Lab is a joint venture with Addmind, a hospitality-focused business in Dubai, and will enable musicians and other content creators to make music that will be streamed exclusively on Anghami.
The first Lab is expected to go live in Dubai in early 2022 followed by other cities, and the company believes the new venture will bridge the gap between digital and traditional entertainment.
“Addmind is a leading expert in conceptualising and operating hospitality spaces, and this is a great opportunity to further reinforce the value we provide digitally to be converged offline in a unique user-to-guest experience,” Anghami co-founder and CEO Eddy Maroun said. “We are excited to partner with Addmind to create this unique, transformational experience for our users.”
The move forms part of the platform’s ambitious plan to grow its business across the 450 million Arabic-speaking population and into new markets outside the Middle East.
Founded by Maroun and Elie Habib in 2012, Anghami boasts about 70 million registered users and more than 57 million Arabic and international songs generating approximately 10 billion streams a year.
The music streaming app has secured strategic partnerships with key players in the entertainment industry, including a sponsorship deal with the Middle Eastern version of The Voice and a recent partnership with Wassim ‘Sal’ Slaiby, the Lebanese-Canadian music exec known for managing The Weeknd and French Montana. In April, Slaiby partnered with Universal Music Group to launch Universal Arabic Music.
Anghami claims its revenue has grown 80% over the past three years and predicts a further five-fold increase in the coming three years. The music streaming platform’s listing on Nasdaq forms part of a merger deal with the US publicly traded special purpose acquisition firm Vistas Media Acquisition Company, which values the platform at about $230m.