Anghami, the first music-streaming platform in the MENA region, will soon also become the first Arab technology company to list on NASDAQ New York via a merger with Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company.
“Today, we have taken a significant step forward in our growth plans in seeking to become the region’s first Arab technology company to list on Nasdaq,” said Anghami co-founder Eddy Maroun. “Being a US-listed public company gives us access to growth capital and a global platform that is the best in the world.”
Anghami, which translates into “my tunes” in Arabic, was founded in 2012 by Maroun and his fellow Lebanese entrepreneur Elie Habib, providing convenient access to Arabic and international music alike. Over the years, the platform has become the leader in the MENA region, offering around 60 million songs to more than 70 million registered users.
In early 2021, Anghami moved its headquarters to Abu Dhabi, after a partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office. The merger with Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc. implies an initial pro-forma valuation of around $220 million. The music-streaming platform will continue to operate under its name and trade under the symbol “ANGH”.
“This is a landmark transaction for the MENA region and for Vistas,” commented Saurabh Gupta, co-founder of Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc. “The combination of Anghami and the Vistas team will be a powerful force in the media and entertainment world, and we couldn’t be prouder of the hard work from everyone to get to this stage, but our work has only just begun.”
Anghami founders would like to use the new funding to not only attract additional customers from the MENA region, but they would also like to expand into new markets and compete with services like Spotify and Deezer, both of which are significantly more popular outside the Middle East.
Spotify Is Experimenting With Artist NFT Collections
According to a recent survey, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform.
NFT sales may have declined by 92 percent since September 2021, but that’s not stopping Spotify from experimenting with a new feature that lets artists display their non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the music streaming platform.
At the moment, only a small group of artists are taking part in the experiment, including Steve Aoki and The Wombats. What’s more, only select US users of the Spotify app for Android can see NFTs when they visit the profile pages of the aforementioned artists.
“Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles,” said Spotify spokesperson. “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
It’s important to point out that not all Spotify experiments result in new features. It all depends on the feedback the music streaming platform receives from users.
According to a survey some Spotify users have recently received, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform. More specifically, Spotify seems to be thinking about allowing its users to directly purchase NFT art to support their favorite artists.
Considering how polarizing NFTs have been since their inception in 2014, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Spotify users have immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of NFTs becoming part of the Spotify music listening experience.
Other large tech companies are also experimenting with NFTs. Instagram, for example, started testing NFT integration last week, allowing NFT creators and collectors to display their tokens on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg himself believes that NFTs and digital collectibles in general will play an integral role in the metaverse, the new iteration of the internet.