(l to r) Humanagement co-founder and MD Hady Hajjar, Warner Recorded Music CEO Max Lousada, Dalia Mubarak, WRM president of international Simon Robson, WRM president of emerging markets Alfonso Perez-Soto, and Mubarak manager Mohammad Darwish Alzarooni. Photo Credit: Michael Leckie
Amid MENA’s ongoing music industry expansion, Warner Recorded Music has officially signed Dalia Mubarak, who’s billed as “one of the most influential female superstars in the Middle East.”
Warner Recorded Music unveiled its agreement with Dalia Mubarak via a formal release today, and the 31-year-old singer celebrated the deal on social media. According to Warner’s glowing assessment of Mubarak’s career, the Riyadh native has been labeled “the voice of the young Saudi generation” and “blends contemporary music genres, such as R&B, with traditional Khaleeji music from the Gulf region.”
Additionally, the work of Mubarak – including tracks such as “Areen Al Ashq,” “Beni O Bink,” and “Damet Ghala” – “holds firm messages on women’s empowerment and solidifying Arab female’s position within their society,” per Warner Recorded Music.
Much of the remainder of the company’s announcement message highlights the continued music industry development in the Middle East and North Africa, which the IFPI earlier this year declared the “fastest growing music region in the world.”
And in a statement, Warner Recorded Music’s president of emerging markets, Alfonso Perez-Soto, underscored the investments that WMG has made in MENA in recent years.
“Following our recent acquisition of Qanawat,” said Perez-Soto, “we’re working at full speed to sign the best talent across the Middle East and North Africa. Dalia is the gold-standard for Arabic artists, so with the passion and synergy of our teams at Warner Music, there’s no doubt she’ll reach new fans worldwide with her music.”
Warner Music closed this buyout – execs described Qanawat Music as “a leading music distributor in the Middle East and North Africa” – in March, after investing a substantial sum in Rotana Music, “the Arab world’s leading independent record label,” towards the beginning of 2021. Additionally, Warner Music Israel opened its doors in Tel Aviv in May of 2022.
Also worth noting is that outgoing Warner Music Group (NASDAQ: WMG) CEO Stephen Cooper touted the perceived long-term potential of diversifying into emerging markets during his business’s Q3 2022 earnings call today.
“A decade ago, our top-five artists generated over 15 percent of our recorded music physical and digital revenue. In 2022, they generated just over five percent,” the 76-year-old communicated. “Our geographic diversification, and our focus over the last decade in growing not only our Anglo but our non-Anglo business, has provided us with a tremendous amount of what I would call release resiliency – that we have local, regional, and global superstars bubbling up from many, many, many different parts of the world.”
In September, Reservoir Media (NASDAQ: RSVR) and Abu Dhabi-headquartered publisher PopArabia acquired Lebanese music company Voice of Beirut, and reports have suggested that Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) is considering buying Middle Eastern streaming service Anghami (NASDAQ: ANGH).