IFPI working with DSPs on music streaming charts in the Middle East and North Africa


IFPI has announced that music streaming charts are in development for the Middle East and North Africa region, including the IFPI’s first ever regional chart. 

Research published in March by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has shown that recorded music market revenues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) grew by 35% in 2021, confirming it to be the fastest-growing region in the world.  

The streaming charts are currently being tested in four key countries – Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. They will be a result of collaborative partnerships between the industry and the five largest streaming services in MENA – Anghami, Apple, Deezer, Spotify and YouTube.

IFPI has also conducted new research which shows that people living in the UAE listen to an average of 22.5 hours of music a week, 22% higher than the global average. The study, which explored music engagement by those aged 16-44 in the country, also found that 54% of people typically listen to at least one Middle Eastern genre. 

Commenting on the research and the opportunities for the UAE music industry, IFPI chief executive, Frances Moore, said: “Both the research and the upcoming charts serve to demonstrate the passion music fans have for music here in the region. We are seeing how the presence and investment of record companies in the area and their work to develop and support local artists is driving positive developments in the music ecosystem.”

IFPI’s regional director, Middle East and North Africa, Rawan Al-Dabbas added: “This is an incredibly exciting time for music in the region. The forthcoming regional charts combined with the industry’s focus and investment in MENA going forward goes to demonstrate the exciting future for music in the region.

“There are challenges. For example, unlicensed music is an issue in the region, and IFPI and our member companies are committed to working with governments here in MENA to tackle this and ensure that licensed music has a secure foundation from which to continue its exciting growth story.”

The news comes as IFPI concludes its global main board meeting which has, for the first time, been held in Abu Dhabi. Discussions included the opportunities for the rapidly evolving music market in the Middle East and North Africa. Last year, UNESCO Creative Cities Network officially designated Abu Dhabi as a ‘City Of Music’.