Yesterday, the Lebanese singer Elissa expressed her anger on Twitter after her fans noticed that her content on YouTube disappeared from the web.
Elissa, who has been signed to Rotana for more than a decade, confirmed the news to her concerned fans and followers.
It’s true. My content is blocked by Rotana because of their new agreement with Deezer. I am devastated to see my efforts vanish after all these years (1)
— Elissa (@elissakh) October 11, 2018
As it turns out, Rotana has signed an exclusive deal with Deezer, which is an internet-based music streaming service that aims to expand and penetrate the MENA market.
Through this deal, Rotana is giving deezer the right to exclusive content from artists who are produced by Rotana. Which means all the views and subscriptions on Elissa’s Youtube channel in addition to the number of likes, plays, and follows the artist has received on Anghami, would disappear.
After backlash from the fans and the artist herself, several hashtags were trending on Twitter. But the shocking statement that seemed to resolve the problem was:
Akid i will https://t.co/uimTg6pqhH
— Elissa (@elissakh) October 10, 2018
When one of her fans asked Elissa if she would terminate her contract with Rotana if they were to remove her content from Youtube, The singer confirmed that “of course” she will.
Later on, Deezer announced that they are adding Rotana’s catalogue to their libraries, leaving any other content on other platforms, untouched.
Even Deezer’s COO himself tweeted:
You will soon find all of Rotana’s leading audio catalogue on Deezer, together with all the other music you love. You can download our app for free in English already and it’s coming in Arabic on 15 October. – Alexander Holland, CCO Deezer.
— Deezer Middle East & North Africa (@DeezerMENA) October 11, 2018
Behind all this drama:
Rotana might have missed a few marks with the Deezer deal. Rotana’s artists were not informed about the deal with Deezer, and Elissa seemed to be the only artist who showed her objection.
In addition to that, some of Rotana’s content is blocked on anghami for unknown reasons.
Anghami, the Beirut-based streaming service, who has struggled to acquire the rights from several local and international record labels, will, lose the right to exclusive content from Rotana. Deezer’s exclusivity could affect Anghami’s 40 million users.
Another threat to Anghami and Deezer is Spotify. Rumors are still circulating that the Swedish streaming service with more than 80 million users, will be available in the MENA region in the first quarter of 2019.
With These two launches, the giant digital streaming services will compete fiercely in the MENA region.
Who will call the shots?