After Spotify announced plans to expand in the Middle East earlier this year, one of its main competitors, Deezer, has beaten it to the punch, with the international music streaming service launching in the region this week

The French-operated enterprise has also announced that it has signed an exclusive digital distribution agreement with the Rotana Group - a pretty big deal when keeping in mind that Rotana Records, which claims to be the biggest record company in the Middle East, belongs to the Dubai-based group. In fact, what that means is that on the only place the region’s residents can stream its music will be on Deezer.

In addition, music enthusiasts can look forward to locally tailored music content including playlists that was exclusively curated by local music editor such as Shabby Essentials. 

It will be interesting to see if the launch will have an effect on Spotify's planned expansion as well as what moves the Middle East's first native music streaming platform, Anghami, might make in the wake of Deezer's arrival. Probably their biggest competitor in the region, the Dubai-born platform also has licensed content of Rotana.

Deezer has already adopted an aggressive approach, offering a six month trial for its premium services for free.

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