You probably missed it, the announcement a few weeks back that music-streaming app Anghami had just crossed the 2 million download mark. But what’s even more remarkable is that the app was only launched a mere six months before the download milestone.

Of course, it’s completely understandable if this is the first time you’ve heard about this marvellous success story, especially if your focus has never strayed anywhere near Lebanon, the home of Anghami, or the Middle East for that matter.

Mention Lebanon and you might think of international trade and commerce given the country’s excellent location which allows companies easy access to markets in the Levant and the wider Middle East. You might also think internet business banking and other vital online services necessary for companies to compete effectively these days. But music-streaming apps?

Based out of Beirut, Lebanon’s capital, Anghami is the brainchild of musician Eddy Maroun and tech fanatic ElieHabib. With an extensive catalogue of millions of tracks licensed from the major Arabic labels Rotana, Platinum Records, Mazzika and Melody, and international labels like Universal, Sony, EMI and Warner, not to mention independent labels Beggars and Armada, Anghami has gained tremendous traction among music fans.

Following its launch, Anghami topped app store charts for several weeks as the #1 music app. It also climbed the overall free charts where it remained the #1 free app in various countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Streaming is the new model for music consumption. Rather than owning songs via a-la-carte purchases and/or pirated downloads, users can gain instantaneous, seamless access to unlimited tracks to listen and download for a fixed fee.

The model has revolutionized the future of music consumption globally, replacing the days of cumbersome CD collections, complicated file transfers between computer and mobile, and low quality, virus-infected torrents. Such convenience has helped reduce piracy by offering listeners a legal, easy-to-use alternative. Anghami’s exponential growth highlights the Middle east and North Africa (MENA) region’s appetite for such a service.

To celebrate its 2 million downloads, Anghami released a revamped iPhone and Android app making music listening and discovery even more enjoyable. Now the “Personal DJ” feature gives users access to play lists tailored by professional DJs that are specifically designed to match the user’s activity and mood.

Among other popular features is “Surprise Me”, a one-touch button that generates a personalized play list based on the user’s likes, listening habits and popular music in their circles. Anghami’s revamped app also allows users to discover music that their friends are playing through an embedded social layer.

Anghami leverages its partners to reach music fans around MENA. By partnering with the leading media group MBC, Anghami received unprecedented media exposure, taking centre stage in some of the most successful TV shows of the moment, such as Arab Idol, Coke Studio, and The Voice, and providing exclusive content to its users.

Anghami also partners with mobile operators to offer compelling plans , for example the “Men El Akher” bundle with Orange Jordan, and carrier billing via Lebanon’s Touch, a first-of-its-kind payment service in the region.

Anghami is available in a free, ad-supported version that gives users limited listening hours. In order to enjoy unlimited listening and the option to download for offline play, users can upgrade to the Anghami+ Premium service.

Check out the Anghami website here.

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