TikTok, the video-focused popular social media platform, has announced a licensing agreement with Rotana Music Group, one of the largest record labels in the Arab world. Rotana, which is headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and has branches in several other countries, has a catalog featuring music from some of the most prominent artists in the Gulf region, as well as the Levant, Egypt, and North Africa. The company also recently signed a partnership with music streaming service Anghami, making Rotana's content available worldwide.
The move comes as TikTok continues to gain popularity in the Middle East and North Africa, a region where recorded music market revenues grew by 35% in 2021, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). The IFPI also reports that the MENA music market is primarily made up of streaming, with 95.3% of recorded music revenues coming from streaming services.
TikTok says that its platform is "hugely popular" in the MENA region, and that the licensing agreement with Rotana Music Group will help bring more Arab music to the platform and support local artists. TikTok’s Hari Nair, Head of Music for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, said, “Rotana Music Group represents some of the greatest names in music, spanning multiple genres and countries, and we know our community will be inspired by this repertoire for their own video creations.”
Salem Al Hendi, Rotana Music Group CEO, said: “We at Rotana are very thrilled with this licensing agreement, which will facilitate Arab Music reach into the MENA music industry and young communities. The creative culture in MENA is so vibrant and diverse, and this agreement will enhance the exchange of music content, while promoting and supporting local artists on a proven leading platform for short-form videos.”
In other related news, Bloomberg reported in November that the three leading record labels, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Universal Music Group, have requested a portion of the advertising proceeds from TikTok.