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Anghami, a streaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa, has fully launched its live music and voice experience: Live Radio. Developed in-house, the company says the service “enables users and contributors to create a social audio experience for sharing music, conversation and more.”
Live Radio is available on both iOS and Android. It allows any user, including artists, DJs, content creators and music influencers, to talk alongside playing songs, playlists and podcasts from Anghami’s library of over 57 million tracks.
The company explains that the function gives everyone the chance to participate in a real-time version of a podcast experience, creating a unique virtual event and bringing together communities with live interaction.
Other features available on Live Radio include applauding the host, sending text comments, meeting other participants and side-chats.
“The social elements of music have always been part of our vision. In fact, ‘live radio rooms’ were part of our original business pitch in 2011, as we saw the opportunity for social audio features to take off,” commented Elie Habib, cofounder and chairman of Anghami.
“Having been integrating social features such as stories and chats since 2017, now we are leading the way in delivering the next level of social audio to our users and our contributors. With the pandemic keeping people at home and apart, the intimacy of voice and the need to be closer to others has become more valuable and we expect to see the social audio market realize significant growth.”
Anghami released the beta version of Live Radio in September 2020, featuring text chats and other functionality. The full launch now includes voice chat. Data from the beta-phase show that the social users have higher retention and engagement rates.
The company also plans to launch Premium Live Radio and also provide the opportunity for artists and creators to introduce subscription-only channels and other revenue streams.
On the business side, Anghami announced in March that it entered into a merger agreement with Vistas Media Acquisition Company, a special purpose acquisition company. This merger, expected to close in Q2, will result in Anghami becoming the first Arab tech company to be listed on the NASDAQ New York stock exchange.
Founded in 2012, Anghami was the first music-streaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa. It is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, has offices in Beirut, Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh, and operates in 16 countries across MENA, with service available in English, Arabic and French. Its main competitor is Spotify.