Warner Music Group (WMG) has announced the launch of Warner Music Middle East, a new wholly-owned recorded music affiliate covering 17 markets across the Middle East and North Africa, an area with a total population of 380 million.
The new division is based in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, which is an important creative hub for A&R, as well as being one of the main centres for regional media and technology.
Warner Music Middle East will be headed by Managing Director, Moe Hamzeh, who joins WMG from the Beirut-based video streaming platform, m.media.
He will report to Chris Ancliff, WMG’s EVP, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Moe Hamzeh says: “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 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.”
Chris Ancliff adds: “Moe has invaluable experience working with local and international artists in the Middle East and North Africa. 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.”
Warner Music Middle East will cover Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
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.
The company will also look to expand the digital distribution of its artists’ music and cultivate local brand partnerships.
Who is Moe
Moe Hamzeh began his career in the music industry in 1998, when he worked for Music Master, Warner Music’s regional licensee at the time, as a label manager, overseeing the marketing and distribution of WMG’s repertoire in Lebanon.
He went on to found Temple Entertainment, an independent label and publisher, before working for Virgin Megastores, opening its flagship store in the region and overseeing its product marketing activities in Lebanon and its 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.