A third investment was disclosed by SRMG Ventures, the venture capital division of the Saudi Research and Media Group (SRMG). The integrated media group has announced plans to invest $5 million in Anghami, a music and entertainment streaming service with offices in the UAE and founded in Lebanon. SRMG is dedicated to fostering the media and entertainment ecosystem in the MENA area. It plans to do so by spotting market possibilities, satisfying consumer wants, and developing new revenue sources. The venture represents a major advancement for the region’s music and audio sector, which is expected to grow at an 11% CAGR. The consistent rise is also credited to local talent, rising Arab stars, and the tactical presence of foreign record firms. This is solidifying MENA’s role as a key participant in the global music industry.
The SRMG-Anghami Strategic Venture
The group’s investment approach, which focuses on creative developers, and virtual and interactive entertainment is aligned with SRMG Ventures’ investment in Anghami. The focus will also be on the digital media platforms and drivers that are at the pinnacle of technical innovation. SRMG Ventures’ broad media reach, content library, and portfolio of top audio/podcast assets will accelerate Anghami’s growth trajectory. Additionally, they will receive a bigger slice of the quickly expanding market, anticipated to reach $700 million in 2026.
Anghami has a sizable subscriber base (120 million, up from 75 million in 2021) and a library of more than 100 million songs. It is the premier source for Arabic and international music, podcasts, and entertainment. Anghami has expanded its offerings across music streaming since its 2012 inception. At the moment, it offers live events, concerts, branded music, and video content. Additionally, it offers renowned music streaming services, podcasts, a music lounge with live entertainment, record labels for Arab musicians, and exclusive and original Arabic material.
Anghami will employ SRMG’s large media networks to speed up growth by offering users fresh experiences. Additionally, it will increase legitimate listening to music audio content in the MENA region and empower artists. Billboard Arabia, the newest addition to SRMG’s media portfolio will introduceseveralf charts employing information from the top digital streaming platforms. It will work with Anghami to help promote the musicians and songs that are shaping the local and international music scene. Additionally, all of SRMG’s content creation channels that are presently accessible through the Anghami portal will pave the way for future partnerships between the two.
Here’s what they said
Jomana R. Al-Rashid, CEO of SRMG, said:
Audio consumption is growing fast in the MENA region. In 2022 alone, the market size for audio increased by 35%. This demand coupled with the commercial opportunity it presents makes digital audio and media one of the investment priorities for SRMG Ventures. These opportunities are also demonstrative of our strategy and commitment to support and develop the media ecosystem, act as a catalyst for further growth and enhancement of SRMG’s offerings and services. Today, Anghami has been able to secure one of the largest user bases in audio streaming in the region, and has developed an impressive platform with extensive technological capabilities – a testament to the leadership of founders Elie Habib and Eddy Maroun. We’re looking forward to working closely with the Anghami team to realize our shared vision of elevating the region’s media and entertainment industry.
Eddy Maroun, Co-founder & CEO of Anghami, said:
This investment from SRMG Ventures marks a significant milestone for Anghami. We have continually evolved to meet our audience’s changing demands and support the region’s rising entertainment and music industry. Working together with SRMG, a leader and innovator in regional media, Anghami will be able to unlock further opportunities to champion the music ecosystem. This partnership will propel regional artists to greater heights, expand their global reach, and create new touchpoints for our users and artists alike.
Large IT businesses and nations are vying for NVIDIA to dominate the semiconductor chips market as a result of the development of generative AI. Most recently, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have expressed interest in purchasing NVIDIA processors to support their AI aspirations. They have joined an ever-expanding line of tech purchasers in the hunt to acquire these chips alongside Elon Musk and China.
With their purchases of thousands of NVIDIA graphic processing units (GPUs), Saudi Arabia and the UAE have both demonstrated their desire to become significant players in the AI industry. These components are crucial to the generative AI revolution that has recently swept the market.
The GPU chips
In the contest to stock NVIDIA chips, the two Middle Eastern nations will face competitors from throughout the world. They will go off against rivals like China and Elon Musk. At least 3,000 NVIDIA H100 chips costing $40,000 each were bought by Saudi Arabia. Additionally, it has ordered new semiconductors to power the nation’s large language models (LLMs).
Earlier this month, it was reported that Alibaba and ByteDance, the parent of TikTok, had purchased $5 billion worth of GPUs as concerns grow about the Biden administration limiting their access. The Chinese tech giants are scrambling to get their hands on these chips with the US government’s restrictions on investing in Chinese technologies. They include semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. The aim was to reduce China’s military access to American technology and price. The four core Chinese tech titans- Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, and ByteDance ordered $1 billion worth of chips to be delivered in 2023. Additionally, another $4 billion worth will be delivered in 2024. Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla and an acclaimed entrepreneur, has also expressed a strong interest in purchasing thousands of chips for his generative AI project called xAI.
Craving NVIDIA chips fear a shortage
Since ChatGPT started the AI craze, NVIDIA’s profit performance has increased. The company’s valuation has now reached over $1 trillion. NVIDIA holds 95% market share in the specialist GPU industry, which has grown significantly as a result of AI. These chips are extremely expensive attributing to their innovation, training, and implementation. This gives a huge advantage to big tech companies over small businesses and startups. However, the company’s supply of semiconductor chips may soon be depleted due to the rise in demand for its GPUs. Top executives have issued a warning that supply may soon fall short of demand. The supply of the H100s is facing several limitations. Some analysts predict that the corporation will run out of chips by the end of next year.
The Gulf states’ interests only confirm that NVIDIA may not be able to keep up with GPU demand. They already cost a fortune and are in short supply. Because of this, venture capitalists have begun directly purchasing them for their company portfolios. The price of NVIDIA’s stock has approximately tripled this year as investors bet that its highly coveted processors would be a critical component of the AI revolution. In 2023, the graphics chip specialist led the S&P 500 with gains of more than 200%.
Saudi Aramco has announced a partnership with Samsung Electronics, a leading Korean conglomerate, to establish a localized industrial 5G technology ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. The collaboration will begin with the development of private networks within the country. The two companies have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the proposed partnership plans.
The main objective of the collaboration is to contribute to the digital transformation of various industrial sectors in Saudi Arabia, including energy, petrochemicals, and manufacturing, by utilizing advanced 4G and 5G technologies that provide secure, fast, and reliable communication to meet critical business requirements.
The MoU follows the recent launch of Aramco Digital Company, which aims to accelerate the digital transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This partnership between Saudi Aramco and Samsung Electronics is expected to bring about a significant boost to the technological capabilities of the industrial sector in Saudi Arabia, further driving its economic growth and development.
Interesting Read: Adform and Digiseg offer new ad tool for Saudi Arabia advertisers
Adform and Digiseg offer a new ad tool for Saudi Arabia advertisers. Adform and Digiseg have formed an exclusive seven-month partnership in Saudi Arabia. Adform is a global, independent, and fully integrated advertising platform built for modern marketing. Digiseg, on the other hand, is a global provider of cookie and ID-free audience data, which helps advertisers reach their target audiences without relying on third-party cookies.
As part of their partnership, Adform’s clients in Saudi Arabia will access Digiseg’s unique audience data that segments entire countries into 100-500 household neighborhoods This data includes information about home type, life stage, household income, and more. This data is unique because it is privacy-compliant and does not rely on cookies or deterministic identifiers like UUIDs or MAIDs. Advertisers can use this cookie-less data to better target and personalize their advertising campaigns across various display, video, and mobile channels.
As quoted by Campaign Middle East, Mazen Khalil, Account Director at Adform said,
“Our exciting partnership with Digiseg will give our clients in Saudi Arabia unique cookie-less data capabilities. With Digiseg’s data, we can help our clients better understand their audiences and deliver more effective advertising”
The partnership between Adform and Digiseg is significant because it highlights the increasing importance of privacy-compliant audience data in the advertising industry. With the impending demise of third-party cookies and increased focus on privacy regulations, advertisers need alternative solutions to reach their target audiences effectively. This partnership will give advertisers in Saudi Arabia a new tool to improve their campaigns. Using Digiseg’s household audience data, brands can reach relevant audiences more effectively with higher conversions and improved cost efficiency. Advertisers can use this data to target their desired audiences with precision and accuracy, resulting in more effective campaigns.
Interesting Read: The Adtech Landscape in 2023
BeIN Media Group, a sports broadcaster inks a partnership with Riyadh-based media representation firm SMC as its exclusive advertising partner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Qatari-based beIN signed an agreement with SMC which covers advertising for all of its channels, including its flagship sports channel beIN Sports. A source familiar with beIN told Reuters, “The deal is in the region of $150 million.”
The strategic deal comes nearly two years after Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries ended their dispute with Qatar, which had seen them sever all political, trade, and travel ties. SMC Chairman Mohammed bin Abdulelah Al-Khuraiji and BeIN Group CEO Yousef Al-Obaidily signed the agreement at BeIN’s MENA headquarters in Doha.
During the strategic partnership, local and international advertising companies will benefit from the promotion of an environment that stimulates creativity and innovation in the digital industry. In this way, they will gain a competitive advantage through various opportunities. The agreement runs from that covers the period before, during, and after the tournament up to the end of 2023, which is a great outcome for both groups.
And that’s what they said
Mohammad Al-Subaie, CEO of beIN MENA, is delighted to partner with SMC as they prepare for the world’s largest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, said,
“The agreement is not only commercially significant, but will also enable advertisers to reach a huge audience who are tuned into beIN’s various channels within the MENA region, through a leading media sales agency. More so, this partnership is a testament to the success of beIN’s growth strategy and its advancement both in MENA and globally. This is simply the beginning of our plans at beIN, and this agreement is just one of many great success stories which have been announced this year, with more to come.”
Khalid Waleed Alkhudair, CEO of SMC, further commented,
“This agreement with beIN provides us with an opportunity to implement SMC’s strategy of flexible and effective advertising and marketing services. We plan to utilise our top-of-the-line service models, which comprise the latest in advertising systems, in-line with the global developments in the industry, and evolving market demands.”
BeIN Sports is the official broadcaster of the 2022 soccer World cup. It is the only place to watch all 64 matches in most countries in MENA and France with coverage in Arabic, English, and French. Reuters reported that Saudi equity firms and US investors were considering an investment in BeIN sports. It has also been attracting the attention of the Saudi wealth fund PIF earlier this month, according to Bloomberg.
A group of over 120 presenters, reporters, commentators, and analysts will cover the World Cup, making it the greatest and most diverse team assembled in the history of the event.
Twitter brings Branded Likes to all managed advertisers reaching consumers in Saudi Arabia. It also rolled out in other countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
👋 We're launching #BrandedLikes, a feature that lets advertisers customize Twitter’s Like button animation for 24 hours.
Branded Likes will appear on any organic or promoted Tweets that contain the advertiser-selected hashtags after an individual has liked that Tweet. pic.twitter.com/mBRRTWtAru
— Twitter Business (@TwitterBusiness) June 30, 2022
As it can be seen in the tweet, Branded Likes let advertisers transform Twitter’s Like button into a delightful, custom animation for 24 hours. Twitter explains that several brands like Disney, Tesco, and more have tested Branded Likes. The results show that it drives conversation and engagement around the biggest launches and brand moments, and create memorable, interactive experiences with consumers.
Interesting Read: Lemma Partners With Continuum, Expand DOOH Presence In The Middle East
How does this new feature work?
- Branded Likes are available in Twitter’s Timeline Takeover ad offering, which ensures a brand’s ad is the first ad to appear when someone opens Twitter for the first time that day. The pairing helps advertisers to maximize brand exposure and drive additional engagement.
- As part of the Takeover ad, advertisers can select a hashtag (and up to 10 translations of the hashtag) for their Branded Like animation. Bare Tree Media is the partner for activations running in Saudi Arabia, the U.S, and the U.K to create custom artwork for the campaign.
- The custom branded like will appear when a consumer taps the like button on an organic/promoted tweet with the pre-selected hashtag.
- Finally, it will appear for up to 24 hours in the same geography as the brand’s Timeline Takeover.
Twitter stated that during testing the new feature delivers ad effectiveness for brands when paired with Timeline Takeover.
“Branded Likes generated positive impact when paired with Timeline Takeover, seeing a +277% lift in the recall, and +202% lift in purchase and consideration intent.”
Even though Branded Likes add personality to the tweets and spark interest but involves high cost and scale. Twitter has not provided any price range as of now. It is certainly an intriguing offering that will add some variety to the tweet stream.
Interesting Read: Marriott International: A Hotel or An Ad Tech Company?
MCN Mediabrands,IPG/MCN’s media and marketing solutions division, announced a collaboration with Snap Inc. to launch a mobile video measurement initiative. Mediabrands and Snap aim to provide clients with rich insights on how Saudi Arabian communities consume and interact with mobile video.
Why the joint collaboration?
Together, the companies will combine the expertise of their marketing science experts to provide original research and analysis on the scale of mobile video usage. A study will be conducted to examine how Saudi Arabian brands use mobile video to engage audiences. Increasingly, communities in Saudi Arabia rely on mobile video as a primary source of information and entertainment. As a result of the initiative, video advertising across platforms will also be evaluated for effectiveness and impact on growth.
Snap and Mediabrands put the learnings into practice by helping brands identify opportunities to enhance performance. Based on their insights, they will create more engaging and effective campaign assets that thrive in a mobile-first environment.
Interesting Read: Snapchat Sees a 20% Plummet In Revenue Due To Apple’s Privacy Changes!
That’s What They Said
Shadi Kandil, CEO of MCN Mediabrands expressed pride in the longstanding relationship with Snap in MENA. He commented,
“Our collaboration has always focused on building critical knowledge in the areas of mobile video and communication to the benefit of our clients. We see this collaboration as a strategic step in this direction, and one that will help our clients win in their respective industries”.
Amer Chehab, Head of Agency Development MENA at Snap Inc., commented
“There’s a rich legacy of storytelling in Saudi Arabia and we already see that visual, camera-led, vertical communication on mobile really resonates with local audiences.”
Furthermore, Chehab explained that advertisers – whether they are multinationals or Saudi-owned brands – enjoy access to tools that help them gauge, rank, and optimize their campaigns. Nonetheless, they are often asked to provide detailed insights. He also added –
“We are often asked for deeper insights, seeking to understand the complexity and depth of mobile video, which is what we are going to provide through this exciting collaboration with Mediabrands.”
Interesting Read: Power Of Out-Of-Home Advertising In The Middle East And Road Ahead
- Amazon.sa has been launched in Saudi Arabia replacing Souq.
- The eCommerce giant is operating three fulfillment centers and 11 delivery stations with a workforce of more than 1400 across Saudi Arabia.
- All existing Souq customer credentials, wish lists, delivery addresses, payment methods, and customer support queries have been converted to new Amazon.sa accounts.
- In the wake of the pandemic, eCommerce is booming in the Middle East and this online store brings Souk’s local know-how and Amazon’s global experience.
Amazon and Souq announced the launch of Amazon.sa in Saudi Arabia to replace Souq.com. This move came after a year after Amazon rebranded Souq to Amazon.ae in the UAE and 3 years after the e-commerce platform was acquired by Amazon in a deal worth $580 million (Dh 2.13billion).
Ronaldo Mouchawar, founder of Souq and now the Vice President of Amazon in the Middle East and North Africa commented on the launch, said,
“Today marks a key milestone … with Amazon.sa, we want to provide what customers have been asking us for the ability to shop a broader selection of both local products and international goods from Amazon.”
He further added,
“Partnering closely with our local and global sellers, we will continue to delight customers in Saudi Arabia by growing our product range while ensuring great prices, fast delivery, and a convenient and trusted shopping experience.”
Shoppers in Saudi can enjoy free next day deliveries on orders above Saudi Riyals 200(Dh196) or can opt for paid same-day delivery to the selected areas of the kingdom. However, Amazon Prime is not yet available on amazon.sa yet. Customers will be able to shop in Arabic or English on both the Amazon shopping app and website.
Shoppers can search for products and pay in local currency or credit/debit cards or opt for cash-on-delivery options and make installment payments from select Saudi banks.
Rafid bin Amin Fatani, Amazon’s head of public policy in Africa and the Middle East said,
“As we launch today, thousands of Saudi businesses use Amazon.sa to reach their customers and we look forward to growing this number further in the coming years.”
Expansion on cards
The Saudi eCommerce market is growing rapidly and is anticipated to surpass US$ 25 Billion by the end of the year 2026. Amazon is building a local logistics and operations network spreading across the kingdom. The company announced a new 226,00 square-foot Jeddah facility and Saudi women will make up approximately 40% of the workforce.
This partnership will encourage Saudi consumers to move further towards digital payments. Ziyad bin Bandar Al-Yousef, managing director of Saudi Payments said,
“This new partnership with Amazon will only serve to strengthen the kingdom’s digital transformation in the payments sector.”