Warner Music Group launches record company in the Middle East

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Warner Music Group is making a big play for the Middle Eastern market with the launch of recorded music affiliate Warner Music Middle East.

It’s the biggest international move by worldwide recorded music chief Max Lousada since the acquisition of Spinnin’ Records back in September.

Based in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, Warner Music Middle East covers 17 markets across the Middle East and North Africa, an area with a total population of 380 million.

It will be headed by Managing Director, Moe Hamzeh, who joins WMG from Beirut-based video streaming platform, m.media. 

He reports into Chris Ancliff, WMG’s EVP, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The new operation will step up the marketing and promotion of WMG’s international artists, as well as growing a local roster of Arabic artists and repertoire.

It will also look to expand the digital distribution of its artists’ music and cultivate local brand partnerships.

Ancliff said: “Moe has invaluable experience working with local and international artists in the Middle East and North Africa. 

“Under moe’s leadership, we plan to pioneer the growth of the music business in some of the world’s most creatively vital and commercially dynamic emerging markets.”

chris ancliff, warner Music Group

“Under his leadership, we plan to pioneer the growth of the music business in some of the world’s most creatively vital and commercially dynamic emerging markets. 

“This launch of a new regional office is part of our commitment to building our local expertise worldwide and delivering maximum global impact for our artists.”

Hamzeh added: “I’m honoured to be joining Warner at this pivotal moment in the expansion of the market in the Middle East and North Africa. 

“We can now reach and draw in a huge number of fans across the region, enabling us to develop careers for local talent, as well as creating new opportunities for our established artists.” 

moe hamzeh, warner music middle east (pictured)

“We can now reach and draw in a huge number of fans across the region, enabling us to develop careers for local talent, as well as creating new opportunities for our established artists.” 

Areas covered by Warner Music Middle East include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Hamzeh began his career in the music industry in 1998, when he worked as a label manager for Music Master, Warner Music’s regional licensee at the time, overseeing the marketing and distribution of WMG’s repertoire in Lebanon.

He went on to found independent label and publisher Temple Entertainment, before working for Virgin Megastores, opening its flagship store in the region and overseeing its product marketing activities in Lebanon and expansion into Saudi Arabia.

In 2008, he joined Melody Music and Artists Management as General Manager, managing the company’s Beirut and Cairo operations, producing and working with major local artists.

He then took up the role of Head of Content for m.media, a digital streaming platform that offers video on demand for Lebanese and regional movies, documentaries and series, in 2012.

Music Business Worldwide

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