Record label

Reservoir Media acquires Lebanese label Voice of Beirut

A night shot of Zaitunay Bay in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. photo credit: abdallah

Reservoir Media (NASDAQ: RSVR) and Abu Dhabi-based publisher PopArabia have announced the acquisition of Lebanese music company Voice of Beirut.

New York-based Reservoir and PopArabia (which claims to represent “a 60% market share of music publishing rights in the MENA region”) today unveiled their latest joint purchase. The entities signed a partnership agreement around the beginning of 2020 and coordinated the acquisition of 100COPIES in Egypt as well as the signing of Lebanese Zeid Hamdan, Moroccan 7liwa and other groups with strong followings in the region.

And today’s piece – the financial terms of which have not been publicly disclosed – appears to underscore Reservoir’s continued commitment to investing in the MENA region’s music industry, which, after reaching 35% growth % in 2021, was declared by the IFPI to be “the fastest growing”. musical region of the world” earlier in 2022.

Founded in 1980, Voice of Beirut owns the recording and publishing rights to around 3,000 tracks “which are a sample of Lebanese pop from the 1980s to the mid-90s”, according to Reservoir, which intends to file a total of $100 million on acquisitions in the current fiscal year 2023.

The catalog is also said to feature “a rich mix of regional music from across the Middle East, including releases from Syrian music. Georges Wassoufsinger and former arab idol judge Ragheb Alamaand “Lebanese Icons” Ziad Rahbani and Sabah.

Addressing her company’s latest investment in a statement, Reservoir founder and CEO Golnar Khosrowshahi – whose cousin Dara Khosrowshahi is the CEO of Uber, in which Live Nation stakeholder Saudi Arabia said invested billion – doubled down on its ambitious vision for the music industry in the MENA region.

“Reservoir continues to demonstrate its commitment to our investment strategy in MENA and emerging markets,” said Khosrowshahi, 50. “Through our efforts with PopArabia and deals like the acquisition of Voice of Beirut, we now represent a growing diversity of Middle Eastern music across styles, eras and rights types. We are excited to share this music globally, especially as we continue to see growing interest in regional music around the world.

Given this increased international interest in regional music – as well as the aforementioned expansion of music markets in the MENA region – major labels are also taking steps to develop a greater presence in the Middle East and North Africa.

Warner Music, for example, invested millions in Rotana Music, acquired Dubai-based distributor Qanawat Music and launched Warner Music Israel. Meanwhile, Sony Music is pushing to sign Arabic acts in an “exclusive partnership” with Cairo-based production and artist management company Craft Media and UMG launched last year. Universal Arabic Music.

At the time of writing, Reservoir Media’s stock was down 4.45% from Monday’s close at $6.87 per share. Additionally, shares of Middle Eastern streaming service Anghami, which posted 46% user growth for the first half of 2022, rebounded slightly from the record low of $2.48 each they hit. about a week ago.