Arab media group inks music distrib deal

Signing will boost Rotana’s activities in U.S. and Europe

LONDON — Arab media titan Rotana Audiovisual has inked a deal with distrib The Orchard to handle its vast music portfolio worldwide.

The deal, announced at the 2006 World Music Expo (WOMEX) Conference in Seville, will give The Orchard complete access to the Arab world’s most powerful music producer and distributor.

Launched in 1987 by Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, Rotana has grown into the Arab world’s dominant media shingle with more than 100 Mid-East artists signed to the label.

Said bin Talal: “With The Orchard, we have the opportunity to broaden our reach in key markets like North America and Europe, where there are vast ethnic Arabic populations and other potential fans of Middle Eastern music.

“We’re continuing to explore the many possibilities that this alliance presents for Rotana,”

Rotana Audiovisual also boasts six free-to-air pan-Arab satcasters, including Rotana Mousica and Rotana Clip, which air Rotana artists’ music vids around the clock.

The reliance on aud text message – oriented programming has led to Rotana Audiovisual becoming the highest revenue generating mobile content corporation across the Mid-East.

Already owning the Arab world’s biggest private film archive with a collection comprising in excess of 2000 Arabic movies that air on Rotana’s movie channels, the shingle has increasingly branched out into producing its own pix.

Recently Rotana produced the first-ever Saudi feature, “Keif Al Hal”, which received its Arab preem Oct. 23 in Bahrain.

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