ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi-based independent music company PopArabia has announced the launch of ESMAA, a new UAE-based music rights management entity to facilitate music licensing in the Gulf region.
ESMAA, which translates as the Arabic word for “listen,” works with both global rights holders and regional businesses to provide Gulf markets with the ability to license music domestically.
“After navigating music rights challenges in this region for many years, I can say with confidence that the work we are doing at ESMAA represents a historic step forward for music licensing in the Gulf,” said Hussain ‘Spek’ Yoosuf, founder and CEO of ESMAA.
The company has signed agreements to represent the rights of global collecting societies including the UK’s PRS (Performing Right Society) for Music and Canada’s SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada), representing more than 30 million musical works and more than 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers respectively through these deals.
ESMAA has also signed agreements to license the British record label Chrysalis Music and Global Master Rights, the neighboring rights company representing the work of more than 300 record labels and 2,500 performers including Rihanna, Billie Eilish, Metallica and David Guetta.
“We’re very pleased to have already begun working with rights holders to license music in the market and meet the needs of regional businesses who have been in need of a local solution,” Yoosuf said.
The company has also recently become a client rights management entity of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers. Founded in 1926, CISAC is a global non-profit organization protecting the rights and promoting the interests of creators worldwide. ESMAA’s status as a client of CISAC marks the first and only time an organization from the Gulf region has been able to benefit from CISAC’s technical tools and solutions for authors’ rights administration.
ESMAA is a subsidiary of PopArabia and a partner of twofour54, Abu Dhabi’s media and entertainment hub.
“Through our investment into PopArabia a decade ago, we have supported the local music industry and enabled home-grown artists,” said Michael Garin, CEO of twofour54.
“As the latest step in this journey, ESMAA will elevate music licensing in the region and place the emirate firmly on the global music stage,” he said.