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Reservoir expands in Middle East via PopArabia partnership

By | Published on Wednesday 26 February 2020


Music rights firm Reservoir has announced a new partnership with PopArabia, an Abu Dhabi-based music publisher and consultancy focused on the Middle East and North Africa region that was founded by Reservoir A&R Spek back in 2011.

As a result of the new partnership, Spek will return to the role of President at PopArabia, while also leading Reservoir’s international and emerging markets strategy, with a remit to sign and develop “local talent and export Arabic and international music around the world”. PopArabia will also act as Reservoir’s sub-publisher in the region.

Announcing the new partnership, Reservoir COO Rell Lafargue said: “The United Arab Emirates and the Middle East are becoming increasingly important global markets and we’re eager to expand our operations to include a renewed focus in these territories”.

“There are over 420 million Arabic speakers in the world but less than 3% of content available online is in Arabic” he added. “We intend to grow that number through the signing, development, and export of local talent, while using PopArabia and Abu Dhabi as gateways to other emerging markets including India, Asia, and Africa. Our partnership will work both ways, as we will bring additional exposure of Western music to those emerging markets, also”.

Spek, who joined Reservoir in a New York-based A&R and creative role in 2015, said: “I’m THRILLED about this next phase in the PopArabia story, and very bullish about the opportunities internationally for Reservoir. It has been a pivotal five years working closely with [the Reservoir team] through an incredible period of growth. I could not have found a better partner to help expand PopArabia and am excited to drive Reservoir’s next steps into new markets”.