TikTok and Saudi Arabia’s Rotana Music Group Ink New Licensing Agreement

TikTok adds to its already robust music roster in a deal with Saudi Arabia's largest music rights holder

Established in 1993, Rotana Music Group is the largest record label and music repertoire holder in the Arab world. The Middle Eastern media company operates several media businesses including music production and distribution, television and radio stations, and digital platforms.

Originally founded in Riyadh in 1987 by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, it is considered to be one of the largest media companies in the Arab world. Rotana’s music division, Rotana Music is known for producing and distributing Arabic music across the Middle East and North Africa region(MENA).

In February 2021, Warner Music Group announced that it had acquired a minority stake in Rotana Music. The partnership aimed to expand Rotana Music’s reach and to bring more Middle Eastern and North African music to the global market.

Headquartered in Riyadh, with branches in Jeddah, Dubai, Kuwait, Cairo, and Beirut, the company has released music from prominent artists including Mohamad Abdo, Abdulmajeed Abdullah, Rabeh Saqer, Rashed Al Majed, Abdullah Al Ruwaished, Nawal Al Kuwaitia, Majid Al Mohandis and other stars from the Gulf region.

Rotana’s catalog also includes music by artists such as Amr Diab, Elissa, Tamer Hosny, Najwa Karam, Shereen Abdalwahab, Angham, Wael Kfoury, Saber Al Robae, and others from the Levant, Egypt and North Africa.

TikTok says that its platform is ‘hugely popular across the Middle East and North Africa’, where recorded music market revenues grew by 35% in 2021, according to IFPI.

In 2021, China had the highest TikTok reach with over 689 million monthly active users. As of January 2022, Saudi Arabia was the country with the highest TikTok reach, with 88 percent of the population aged 18 and older using the popular social video app. The United Arab Emirates followed, with a reach of around 81.3 percent. The MENA music market is predominantly made up of streaming, which represents 95.3% of the region’s recorded music revenues.

Salem Al Hendi, CEO of Rotana Music Group

“The creative culture in MENA is so vibrant and diverse, and this agreement will enhance the exchange of music content while promoting and supporting local artists on a proven leading platform for short-form videos,” says Salem Al Hendi, CEO of Rotana Music Group.



Hari Nair, Head of Music TikTok MENA

Hari Nair, Head of Music TikTok – Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, added: “As TikTok continues to grow across the Middle East and North Africa, becoming a cultural force in the region, we’re delighted to bring the biggest independent catalog to our platform. Rotana Music Group represents some of the greatest names in music, spanning multiple genres and countries and we know our community will be inspired by this repertoire for their video creations.”

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