Only a few tech companies have impacted the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as much as Anghami. Now, nearly a decade after its launch, Anghami is the leading music streaming service in the region, but is it still the best? Read our detailed Anghami review to find out.
What Is Anghami?
Anghami (“my tunes” in Arabic) is a music streaming service offering a broad catalog of local and international music to listeners in the MENA region.
The service was founded in 2012 by Eddy Maroun (the current CEO) and Elie Habib. The co-founders came up with the idea to create a MENA-specific streaming service on a ski trip in 2010. Unable to access their iTunes accounts, they were left with only one option on how to listen to their favorite artists: music piracy and illegal P2P file-sharing services.
According to Habib, music piracy is still Anghami’s biggest competition in the region, which is why the service goes to great lengths to justify legal music streaming as a worthy alternative.
Anghami offers the largest music catalog of licensed content in the MENA region, comprising of more than 30 million songs. It has partnerships with local labels such as Melody, Mazzika, and Platinum Records, in addition to EMI, Sony, Universal, and other international labels.
From its launch until 2018, Anghami had a partnership with Rotana, the Arab World’s largest record label. The partnership ended when a competing music streaming service, Deezer, signed an exclusive digital distribution agreement with Rotana.
The loss of Rotana reaffirmed Anghami’s focus on indie artists, who can upload content directly to the music streaming service through a dedicated artist dashboard. In association with its strategic partners, Anghami also produces its own content under the label Anghami Originals. The co-founders claim that their goal is to provide an alternative to artists who either don’t want to or were unable to sign a deal with a label.
In addition to the songs found in Anghami’s large music catalog, users can also upload their own music and play it on all devices. This feature is available only to Anghami Plus subscribers, and all songs need to be converted into .mp3 before uploading.
The Anghami Experience
To get started with Anghami, you first need to log in with your Facebook or Google account, or you can create an Anghami account using your email address. From there, you can download the Anghami mobile app (available for iOS and Android devices), install Anghami for Windows, or listen directly from your web browser.
The desktop app provides the most feature-packed listening experience because it lets you upload your own music, play, pause, skip and control the volume from your keyboard, and activate a compact mini-player for a simpler view and better control over your music.
When you launch Anghami, the first thing you’ll see is the Home tab, with hand-picked playlists, new releases, popular music videos, and charts. To start listening, all you need to do is select any content that catches your eye and click the Play button.
You can control the playback using familiar control buttons located at the bottom of the app. When listening to certain songs, you can display lyrics or play the official music video with the click of a button.
Anghami provides several ways for you to discover new music. When playing a song, you can click the Play more like this button to instantly add more songs that Anghami considers to be similar to the one you’re playing to your playback queue. Similar artists are also featured at the bottom of each artist’s profile page.
When you don’t have any specific artist or song in mind and just want to brighten your day with some music, you can switch to the Personal DJ tab and play music based on your current mood, activity, or preferred genre. There are playlists for chilling, cooking, driving, focus, social gatherings, sleep, traveling, workouts, and much more.
Also worth mentioning is the Podcasts tab, which provides a fun way of learning about topics that interest you. The included podcasts come from MENA-based content creators, and many are not available outside the region.
Even though Anghami likes to present itself as a free music streaming service, it puts a lot of pressure on free users to purchase a premium subscription.
Free users can’t download music for offline listening, Scrub/Replay/Rewind in the player, skip as many times as they like, view lyrics for the currently playing song, or enjoy their music without ads and interruptions.
During the Anghami review, we weren’t even able to play a song without a pop-up window getting in the way and advertising 1 month of Anghami Plus for free. Judging by online reviews, there are many other users who have experienced the same issue.
With the free plan barely allowing us to listen to a whole song without interruptions, we took Anghami on its offer and signed up for Anghami Plus. We paid for the subscription using a credit card, but many other payment methods are supported as well, including Google Play, iTunes, PayPal, CashU, OneCard, Promocode, and over 30 direct carrier billing options.
The monthly price of Anghami Plus differs from country to country. For example, the monthly subscription in Egypt is $2.50, but European customers are billed $4.99 a month for the same service. Discounts are available to students, families, and customers of certain mobile operators.
Based on our comprehensive Anghami review, the music streaming service shows that there’s still room for local services even in the global era. Despite increasing competition for local and international players alike, it maintains its position as the king of music streaming in the MENA region. As long as you avoid the free plan and purchase one of several available subscription plans, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite artists and discover artists you’ve never heard of without any limitations.
• Polished apps for all popular platforms.
• Attractive pricing.
• Support for independent artists.
• Aggressive ads in free plan.
• No English podcasts available.
Did you enjoy our Anghami review? Let us know in the comments below!
Limelines Review – Latest News & Top Stories From MENA
There’s no shortage of talented content creators and committed publishers with a clear vision in the MENA region, but their stories often don’t reach the readers who would appreciate them the most because they become overshadowed by global competition. Limelines is a platform created to change content consumption and publishing in the MENA region to bring the very best the Middle East and North Africa have to offer to the global stage, presenting a more optimistic version of the region.
What Is Limelines?
A prime brand of Cetera Technology SAL, a Lebanese tech startup, Limelines is a content curation and personalization platform born in the MENA region to meet the needs of the people who inhabit it.
“The MENA region has so much to offer in terms of knowledge, especially through its wide and diverse writers, storytellers, and ambitious readers,” explained Rime Diab, Chief Executive Officer at Limelines. “Stemming from this, Limelines curates the region’s unfolding stories to give its readers a full-circle perspective and an unbiased perception to content,” Diab added.
Essentially, the platform gathers content from the best MENA publishers and presents it to readers based on their unique interests in a way that satisfies the expectations of tech-savvy millennials who are used to managing their lives through their mobile devices.
From fashion and food to politics and cutting-edge technology, Limelines has something for everyone thanks to its partnerships with top publishers across 19 countries in the MENA region. The platform first launched in English, but it has since released Arabic and French versions.
“Our market research shows that 59 percent of the MENA region’s publishers write in Arabic, 43 percent write in English, while almost 15 percent publish in French,” said Diab. “This diverse and cosmopolitan audience requires a platform that reflects it, and that’s what Limelines aspires to offer.”
Limelines is available free of charge to readers and publishers alike. As a reader, you can simply log in to the web version of Limelines with Facebook, Google, or email. Alternatively, you can download the official iOS or Android app to your mobile device to enjoy a native reading experience from anywhere with internet access.
Once logged in, you need to select at least two topics of interest to kick off your reading journey. This shouldn’t be a problem since Limelines covers a wide variety of topics that should interest everyone from entrepreneurs to tech geeks to finance executives to people who love exploring the latest lifestyle trends.
When you discover an interesting story on Limelines, you can add it to a line, which is basically a collection of thematically related stories. You can keep this collection private and come back to it later when you want to read a certain story again or reference it, but you can also share it with others.
You can find interesting stories to read directly on your home feed, or you can explore any topic you want to broaden your horizons. Whenever you find yourself a bit short on time, you can use the Quick View feature to read 10 important headlines that you can’t afford to miss.
Overall, the reading experience created by Limelines is polished, efficient, and time-saving. It would be nice to see support for dark mode in a future release, but the default color scheme is also pleasant and easy on the eyes.
Limelines For Publishers
Limelines was created with MENA publishers in mind, allowing them to effortlessly submit content to the platform and make it available to readers across the entire region. All that a publisher needs to do to create an account is to select the “Get started as a publisher” option on the sign-up page and fill in the required information.
Next, the publisher is asked to provide its RSS feeds, which are automatically processed by Limelines. A single publisher can have one or many lines and hence add as many RSS feeds as the publisher wants. Any publisher that relies on paywalls can also submit content to Limelines, which will redirect readers to the paywall and let the publisher handle business as usual.
Immediately after an RSS feed is approved, Limelines starts generating traffic, and the publisher can track incoming visitors using any analytics tools since all Limelines links are tagged. At the time of writing this review, Limelines features some of the best publishers operating in the MENA region, including Kooora, Sport 360, and Entrepreneur Middle East, just to name a few.
Limelines Review Verdict
Limelines is the content curation and personalization platform the MENA region has been waiting for. Regardless of whether you live in the region or just have a personal or professional interest in it, you need to give Limelines a try and experience just how easy it can be to discover the best content MENA’s publishers have to offer.