Streaming service Deezer clearly signalled its intentions in the Middle East and Africa with its $185m funding round in August. Saudi Arabian investment fund Kingdom Holding Company and media firm Rotana Group were among its investors, complete with an “exclusive, long-term” licensing agreement with the latter’s label group. Less than three months later, Deezer is officially launching across the MENA region, promising a catalogue of 53m tracks including exclusive content from Rotana.
The service has been localised, with Arabic language and a selection of local curators including PopTop Arab, Rapstars Maghreb United and Shaabi Essentials. The launch will bring Deezer to countries including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Algeria, Kuwait, Tunisia, Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and Mauritania. Deezer is pulling out plenty of stops for the launch, too, offering a six-month free trial of its Premium tier without requiring people to enter their payment details when signing up for it.
Apple Music is already available in the MENA region, and Spotify is preparing its own launch, but the established leader is actually a local player: Anghami, which has more than 60 million listeners across the region.