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MENA region to become ‘pioneer in the music industry’ 

February 12, 2023 at 3:16 pm

Earphones are seen in front of the Youtube Music logo on May 08, 2020 [Evrim Aydın/Anadolu Agency]

The Middle East North Africa (MENA) region will become “a pioneer in the music industry” according to Nada Alhelabi, the Strategy and XP Music Futures Director at Saudi Arabian-based music and entertainment company, MDLBeast.

In an interview with the industry news website Music Business Worldwide (MBW), she predicted that the region “will become the pioneer in the music industry” as the music market continues to expand.

Nada added that MDLBeast aspires to become known, not only as an entertainment company, “but for developing the region’s music economy and defining the next generation of music and entertainment.”

“We want it to inspire future generations to consider a career in the industry and promote music as a vehicle for job creation and innovation, making it a sustainable industry from which they can grow and build a strong profitable work experience,” she added.

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“Previously, our music community could only thrive underground, but now we are hosting major international and regional artists and festivals with thousands of attendees,” Nada explained.

According to the global recorded music body IFPI, the MENA region was the world’s fastest growing region in 2021, with an “exceptional revenue growth” of 35 per cent, with 95.3 per cent of those revenues generated from music streaming.

Saudi Arabia is already home to the region’s largest record label in the region, Rotana and has also recently signed licensing deals with TikTok and Spotify, MBW reported.

MDLBeast’s Soundstorm festival was launched in 2019 in the capital Riyadh and was claimed on its website to be “a cultural catalyst for Saudi youth.” It followed the legalisation of public music concerts, which is part of wider reforms in line with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision2030. However, the festival which was lauded as the Middle East’s largest music event was tainted by reports of multiple allegations of sexual harassment.