Leading Middle East Music Streaming Service 'Anghami' Embraces Bitcoin

Anghami's streaming platform will accept bitcoin subscription fees and incorporate the currency into its 'freemium' model.

AccessTimeIconMar 10, 2014 at 11:21 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 10:31 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Anghami, the leading mobile music streaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has announced that it will start accepting bitcoin payments.

says it is the first music service in the world to accept bitcoin, although a number of smaller music services have announced plans to accept the currency over the past couple of months.

For its part Anghami will start accepting bitcoin subscription fees and incorporate bitcoin into its 'freemium' model. The service is available on all major mobile platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry, as well as Nokia's Asha and Symbian platforms, which are big in the emerging markets.

Alternative payment methods

In addition to bitcoin, Anghami is also using prepaid cards, telecom billing and PayPal, so it is no stranger to the world of alternative payments. However, the company points out that bitcoin offers the lowest transaction fee of all the methods currently available. It has chosen BitPay as its payment processor.

"Bitcoin is still in its early days – especially in the Middle East. But just like everyone was sceptical that streaming [was] the future of music, we believe that Bitcoin is the future of payments," Anghami's co-founder Elie Habib said. "Moreover, Anghami being a mobile service, paying via your digital bitcoin wallet is a no brainer."

Fellow co-founder Eddy Maroun pointed out that bitcoin is getting "major backing" from entrepreneurs and technologists worldwide. He added that Anghami is sending a message that it believes in bitcoin and that it wants its user base of digital enthusiasts to get on board.

Anghami launched in late 2012 and so far it has managed to attract four million users, mostly from the MENA region.

Bitcoin and digital media – a match made in heaven?

Although bitcoin has received a fair amount of coverage lately, the focus still appears to be on wild price fluctuations, turbulence in the bitcoin ecosystem and various sideshows like the events which unfolded in California last week.

While the attention is focused on headline grabbing stuff, the industry is starting to look seriously into the potential of digital currencies in the content industry. Earlier this year PriceWaterhouseCoopers published a very bullish report on bitcoin's prospects in the entertainment industry.

The Chicago Sun Tribune's bitcoin pseudo-paywall has also attracted a lot of attention from publishers worldwide. In essence, bitcoin's low transaction fees and potential for micropayments have the potential to change the way content is monetized.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.