Warner Music
The merger deal raises Dubai's profile as a major investment destination for the world’s largest media companies. Image Credit: Warner Music

Dubai: Global entertainment and record label Warner Music Group struck a deal to acquire Qanawat Music, a Middle East-based entertainment company.

Qanawat Music will function as a standalone company within WMG’s portfolio. It will be WMG’s key local distributor and a source of upstreaming opportunities.

Following the merger, Qanawat Music’s workforce is expected to grow by more than 100 per cent.

One of the largest deals of its kind to date in the entertainment and digital music sectors in Asia, Africa and Europe, the acquisition aims to amplifying the reach of Arabic content from a regional to a global fanbase and provide a wider international exposure to Arab talent.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council said: “Warner Music Group’s acquisition of Qanawat Music is yet another entrepreneurial success story emerging from Dubai that demonstrates the vibrancy of its media ecosystem that has enabled many homegrown ventures to transform their innovative and ambitious projects into reality.”

“Over the past decade, a host of Dubai-born companies across sectors have leveraged the emirate’s exceptional entrepreneurial environment to expand rapidly and attract the investment interest of global companies,” he added.

“Our merger with Warner Music Group makes is possible for us to enhance our position as the leading digital music distributor,” said Adnan Al-Obthani, CEO of Qanawat Music. “Warner Music Group has a long-term vision for developing the market here in MENA, and we are certain this new chapter of our story will unveil a world of exciting opportunities for artists, in addition to our entry into new areas of business including the Metaverse, NFT and other creative fields.”

In 2021, Qanawat recorded more than 200 billion total views and streams across digital streaming platforms, including Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify and Anghami, as well as social media channels. Qanawat offers its services in more than 20 countries.

Regional music revenue in 2021 is the highest in the world
The Middle East and North Africa region is a burgeoning powerhouse in the music industry, according to the Global Music Report 2022 issued by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The study found that the region witnessed a 35 per cent rise in music revenues in 2021, making it the fasting growing territory of the year, ahead of Latin America, the US and Canada.

With a total population of more than 464 million, the region’s market for music fans is multiplying, fuelled by convenient access to digital streaming platforms and a greater distribution push by regional music companies.