DUBAI (CelebrityAccess) – Warner Music Group (WMG) has agreed to acquire Qanawat Music, a leading distributor in the Middle East and North Africa. The deal, expected to be completed very soon, will see WMG expand its presence across the region, with Qanawat becoming its key local distributor and a source of upstreaming opportunities.
Qanawat was a division of Qanawat FZ, LLC, a leading digital mobile solutions provider. The company was founded by Adnan Al-Obthani, who will remain CEO of Qanawat Music following the acquisition, while also working for Qanawat FZ LLC. Qanawat Music will operate as a standalone company under the WMG umbrella.
The recorded music market in the Middle East and North Africa is one of the fastest-growing in the world. Increasing numbers of music fans across the region – a population of some 430 million – are able to access streaming services. A wide range of local music scenes, drawing on the region’s rich cultural heritage and a shared language, means artists have a solid potential to break across borders. An additional audience for those artists, which can help spread their influence and music, is the sizable Arab population worldwide, estimated in the tens of millions.
Moe Hamzeh, Managing Director, Warner Music Middle East, concludes: “This is a seismic moment in the development of the music industry in our region. Combining the experience and relationships, Qanawat has built up over the years with the global reach, and expertise of Warner Music will hugely benefit many artists. This deal will shine a spotlight on the music industry in the Middle East and North Africa. It is also the latest example of Warner Music Group’s long-term commitment to the region, with many more developments in the pipeline.”