Lebanon’s popular music streaming service, Anghami, said that it has started to discontinue its service through the country’s two mobile networks.
However, the service will remain available through other payment methods; why is that?
At the moment, Anghami’s main monthly services offered to Touch and Alfa subscribers cost, respectively, $5 and $4 in mobile credit.
Of this fee, “we receive a share… And then have to pay a major part of it to artists and music labels – [when] most of the international companies are based outside Lebanon – in US dollars (Fresh money),” Anghami told The961.
Needless to say, the said currency has become a very rare asset to own in Lebanon as the national currency continues to depreciate against it.
“With the current currency devaluation, we will be paid in [Lebanese pounds] and, at the current [exchange] rate, the service price becomes less than $1 before we even take our share, label costs, and our own operational costs,” Anghami explained.
Another significant challenge that Anghami is facing is the payment delays that it has had to deal with due to the dismal state of Lebanon’s telecommunications sector today.
These obstacles, Anghami explained, force it to operate “at a big loss” and render it “unable to sustain the services as they currently are” with Touch and Alfa.
The company notes, though, that despite the hardships that it has been struggling through amid Lebanon’s crises, “Anghami is probably the sole service that allows LBP charging and hasn’t increased a dime throughout the devaluation.”
With that said, it stresses that it is actively working to resolve the problem with its partners and trying to do well by its users, partly by advising them to switch their payment method early on.
“We are still working on resolving this with our partners and will be posting an update to our followers and users as soon as it is resolved,” the company added.
It’s worth noting that Anghami’s service through Alfa and Touch has not yet stopped. However, unless the company works out a solution with its partners soon, the discontinuation seems to be inevitable.