PRS for Music announces landmark agreement with UAE-based rights management entity ESMAA

ESMAA to represent PRS members’ rights, in a historic step forward for music licensing in the Gulf.

Maya Radcliffe
  • By Maya Radcliffe
  • 16 Aug 2021
  • min read

Abu Dhabi-based independent music company PopArabia announces the launch of ESMAA, a new UAE-based music Rights Management Entity to facilitate music licensing in the Gulf region. ESMAA works broadly with both global rights holders and regional businesses to provide Gulf markets with the ability to license music domestically for the first time. 

ESMAA has concluded agreements to represent the rights of global collecting societies, including the performing rights (excluding digital) of PRS for Music’s members. 

In addition, ESMAA has signed agreements to license iconic UK record label Chrysalis Music and Global Master Rights, the neighbouring rights company representing the rights of over 300 record labels and more than 2500 performers including Rihanna, Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons, DJ Snake, Metallica, Migos, and David Guetta, among others.  

ESMAA, which translates to the Arabic word for 'Listen,' has also recently become a Client Rights Management Entity of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC). Founded in 1926, CISAC is a global not-for-profit organisation that protects the rights and promotes the interests of creators worldwide through the largest international network of collective management organisations, including 228 member societies in 120 countries/territories. ESMAA’s status as a Client of CISAC marks the first and only time an organisation from the Gulf region has ever been able to benefit from CISAC’s technical tools and solutions for authors’ rights administration. In light of these developments, ESMAA has already begun developing a comprehensive music repertoire database for the Gulf territories. 

ESMAA founder and chief executive Hussain ‘Spek’ Yoosuf commented: '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. 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.'

ESMAA is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi based PopArabia, the leading independent music publisher in the Middle East, and a partner of twofour54, Abu Dhabi’s media and entertainment hub.  

Commenting on the launch of ESMAA, Michael Garin, chief executive, twofour54 Abu Dhabi, said: 'Enabling content creation in Abu Dhabi and building the emirate into a leader within the creative industries is twofour54’s ultimate goal. Through our investment into PopArabia a decade ago, we have supported the local music industry and enabled home-grown artists. 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.'