It’s official. One of the biggest stories to come out of the Middle East has reached a fitting climax - but this marks just the beginning for Anghami’s global ambitions.
What a remarkable story. Who would have thought the Middle East would ever give birth to a streaming platform, let alone that streaming platform become so wildly successful that it gets listed in the NASDAQ Stock Exchange?
That’s exactly what has happened with Anghami. Last March, it was announced that, through a groundbreaking merger with US-based special-purpose acquisition company, Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc., the Beirut-born platform would become the first MENA tech company to list on the NYC stock exchange under the ticker ‘ANGH’.
Now, it’s official, with the news that the merger and listing have been officially approved and completed, and the platform has begun trading under ‘ANGH and ‘ANGHW’.
"Today marks the end of a long journey toward listing on NASDAQ, but also the momentous beginning of our life as a publicly traded company,” co-founder and co-CEO, Eddy Maroun, said of the momentous occasion. “We believe that our efforts to take a different approach and challenge the status quo in the streaming world present a great opportunity for fans not only in the region, but also for millions of people around the world who are trying to reconnect with their roots through music. As we embark on this new chapter, we remain as committed as ever to our goal of expanding the Arabic-language music repertoire through new initiatives and innovative concepts such as Anghami Originals, Anghami Labs, live concerts, live radio and branded content."
His co-founder, and CTO, Elie Habib, echoed these sentiments, grounding Anghami’s success in its goals when it launched a decade ago.
“This is a moment of great pride, not only for Anghami, but for the entire Arab world. We launched in 2012 with the dream of making a valuable difference for users and artists alike, and nearly a decade later, with around 58% of the market share in the Middle East, we have earned a place not only in the industry, but also in the hearts of music lovers across the region. We look forward to continuing our mission to transform the music streaming industry globally by connecting fans and artists and providing a unique streaming experience by focusing on original hyper-local content and an extensive catalogue of music and entertainment."
It’s a remarkable achievement, one that will see them go global, but there have been plenty of milestones along the way, too. In fact, it’s been a busy 12 months for Anghami, who closed out the year with another groundbreaking announcement: the co-launch of a new MENA-based music label targeting independent musicians in the region alongside Sony Music. Vibe Music Arabia, as it shall be known, will be a wholly independent label that has the potential to be game changer for the region’s independent musicians and, from Anghami’s perspective, will enhance its already extensive catalogue of music and content, while also providing the biggest platform yet for musicians.
Prior to that, the company also announced the launch of Anghami Lab, a unique hub for musicians to connect and create. The first will be launched in Dubai, and will be quickly followed by another in KSA, before Anghami looks to establish more in the region's biggest cities. Both of these sweeping new projects came in a year that saw Anghami also launch one of its most innovative in-app features: Anghami Live Radio. You’ve probably caught SceneNoise’s own shows on the platform, including interview series, Hear & Now, which has welcomed the likes of Saudi hip-hop guru, Big Hass, and superstar Egyptian producer, Molotof. Simple in concept, the function has opened up a whole world of opportunities for musicians (and indeed platforms) to open communication with fans and followers.
These are all bullet points to an incredible journey. As it stands, Anghami has 72 million songs in its libraries, which 75 million users enjoy. In addition to its Abu Dhabi headquarters, it boasts offices in Beirut, Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh, operating across 16 countries in total in the Middle East.
Yet the listing marks a new beginning for Anghami and the cross-section of the listing and all of its new features promises big things ahead - for Anghami, of course, but also for the musicians it champions, the labels it collaborates with and even the listeners it serves. Watch this space.