Talking of intense competition for new subscribers… the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) streaming market is heating up nicely as 2018 nears its end, thanks to recent launches in the region by Spotify and Deezer – the latter flush with cash from a recent funding round including the Saudi-based Kingdom Holding Company and media firm Rotana Group.

Now its CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht has been talking to news site The National about Deezer’s ambitions in the MENA region, zeroing in on partnerships with local telcos as well as technology companies. “We have a strong partnership DNA when it comes to distribution and infrastructure, so we want to work closely with artists and producers in the region and other partners who can help us build our operations here,” said Albrecht. Saudi Telecom Company and Vodafone are said to be at the top of Deezer’s list of targets, although no deals have yet been confirmed. “We talk to everyone,” said Albrecht, who also confirmed that Deezer will be opening a regional HQ in Dubai in 2019.

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