Ep 8: Dubai & the Future of Digital Music

Digital Media & Tech in Dubai is back with Episode 8, featuring Rami Zeidan, Head of Marketing for Anghami, the hottest music startup in the MENA region!

Launched in March of 2016, Dubai’s top tech podcast focuses on bringing listeners informative conversations with local experts exploring the latest trends in the digital media and tech scene in the burgeoning international capital that is Dubai. Hosted by Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai--episodes are recorded on location at AUD in the heart of Dubai’s Media City.  

In our exclusive conversation with all-star AUD alumn, Rami Zeidan, we trace the story of his career, beginning with OMD UAE, where he cut his teeth in digital marketing, rising over the course of a decade to become Business Unit Director. While working at OMD full time, Rami did his MBA at AUD in Marketing, graduating class of 2009. Combining his background in computer science, and professional expertise in marketing, with his lifelong passion for music: Rami took over as Head of Marketing for Anghami in 2015, launching the music startup’s flagship office in Dubai.

We discuss the state of the digital music scene in Dubai, and the greater MENA region, and how Anghami, the region’s fastest-growing music streaming platform, strives to define the vanguard of digital music business innovation. Topics include how to overcome widespread piracy; the redefinition of success metrics in the digital music age; data-focused approaches to marketing the music streaming platform; competing with heavy hitters like Apple Music and Spotify; and Rami’s unique approach to identifying and growing talent. We hope you enjoy our exclusive talk with digital Dubai rock star, Rami Zieden, head of marketing for Anghami, the number 1 music platform in MENA, with a catalog comprising more than 17 million songs currently streaming to its more than 26 million users - a fanbase that continues to grow.

Hosted by:

Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai

https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencerstriker

Special Guest:

Rami Zeidan, Head of Marketing, Anghami

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ramizeidan

Special thanks to Reina Dib and Joy Semaan of the AUD Marcom Team

https://www.instagram.com/audubai

Huge shout out to stellar AUD student podcast producers, Rana Daoud & Rami Hawa

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ranadaoud

Audio engineering by AUD Digital Media’s own Anil Mathew James

Featuring original Video Game Remixes by the legendary Chris Bates

Video mentioned: Evolution of Arabic Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPvyl6MYxlg

 

Ep 7: Dubai, the Best City in the World

yousefTuqan_spencerStriker

Digital Media & Tech in Dubai is back for season two! And for our kickoff episode, we are thrilled to present one of the MENA region’s most experienced digital executives, Yousef Tuqan--widely respected as one of the most outspoken and visible evangelists for digital/social innovation in Dubai business.

Launched in March of 2016, Dubai’s top tech podcast focuses on bringing listeners informative conversations with local experts exploring the latest trends in the digital media and tech scene in the burgeoning international capital that is Dubai. Hosted by Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai--episodes are recorded on location at AUD in the heart of Dubai’s Media City.  

In our exclusive conversation with Yousef Tuqan, we trace the fascinating biography of his twenty year career, during which he has helped forge the face of modern digital Dubai. http://youseftuqan.com/ Beginning in 1996, when he had to drop out of UMass-Amherst to help his family, Yousef broke into web design, (a technology in its infancy), shortly thereafter designing the original emirates.com website. And for much of the next twenty years, Yousef has repeated this pattern of being at the groundfloor of so many nascent digital Dubai initiatives. At the turn of the millennium, he became the first digital employee for OgilvyOne, and was there at the creative conception of Madinat Jumeirah.

After a stint as an account director at north55, in 2005, Yousef began a 10 year path to the top of Flip Media, one of the top digital marketing startups in the region, at the time. Joining as employee #20 or so, he would rise to become the CEO and oversee the company’s expansion to over 150 employees, navigating the financial crisis of 2008, and eventually overseeing the successful acquisition of the company by Leo Burnett. After working as Chief Innovation Officer for the new parent company, Leo Burnett MENA, Yousef took a strategic two month trip across the United States, (yes, he IS the Middle Eastern Don Draper), and upon his return became Entrepreneur in Residence at Wamda Capital, a VC firm focused on growing regional tech startups.

It was in that role that he got tapped to take over as VP of Marketing & Analytics for one of Wamda’s key investments, the red hot startup, Careem, often considered the most successful MENA startup to date. Yousef next describes the strategic positioning of Careem and the exciting future of the company. Never one to sit still, he has since taken over as Group Vice President, Brand Marketing & Loyalty, for the Jumeirah Group.

Finally, Yousef lays out his interpretation of the Dubai vision, which he summarizes as the goal to become “the best city in the world.” Like a visionary startup, Yousef explains, Dubai must continue to build a platform for innovation upon which successful businesses and systems can grow, thereby creating the greatest city of the 21st century.

Hosted by:

Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai

https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencerstriker

Special Guest:

Yousef Tuqan, Group Vice President, Brand Marketing & Loyalty, Jumeirah Group

https://www.linkedin.com/in/youseftuqan

Special thanks to Reina Dib and Joy Semaan of the AUD Marcom Team

https://www.instagram.com/audubai

Huge shout out to stellar AUD student podcast producers, Rana Daoud & Rami Hawa

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ranadaoud

Audio engineering by AUD Digital Media’s own Anil Mathew James

Featuring original Video Game Remixes by the legendary Chris Bates

Ep 6: Dubai's Laboratory of Innovation

ThinkMedia_SpencerStriker

Digital Media & Tech in Dubai is proud to present episode 6--featuring our exclusive interview with Founder and CEO of Think Media Labs, Ayman Itani. Launched in March of 2016, Dubai’s top tech podcast focuses on bringing listeners informative conversations with local experts exploring the latest trends in the digital media and tech scene in the burgeoning international capital that is Dubai. Hosted by Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai--episodes are recorded on location at AUD in the heart of Dubai’s Media City.  

Special guest for Ep 6, “Dubai’s Laboratory of Innovation” is Ayman Itani, Founder & CEO of Think Media Labs http://aymanitani.com/ , a company he created in 2010 to focus on the Arab World’s need for digital and social strategies to keep pace with cutting-edge global tech trends. A digital strategist, public speaker, and professor, Ayman displays laser sharp expertise of the digital scene--and applies them to help people better understand our ever changing world; to improve businesses; and achieve goals faster. Displaying indefatigable energy--while running one of Dubai’s top digital agencies--he lectures at multiple universities; speaks regularly at top conferences; and publishes online studies that give readers a sharper picture of shifting tech trends.

Topics discussed in episode 6:

- In our far-ranging discussion, we begin by discussing Ayman’s founding of Think Media Labs in 2010, and the story of why and how he built one of the Middle East’s most innovative digital shops. He talks about how the digital scene has changed rapidly over the course of the last six years; how he does his research; crunches trends; and tackles the complexity of innovation in an ever-changing landscape. We go on to delve into unique considerations that define Dubai as a market in terms of digital expansion and adoption rates.

-   Ayman reveals how he does deep data mining within the context of Dubai’s international, multicultural community and markets--crunching more than sixty data points. We talk about geospatial dynamics of Dubai and the unique characteristics of various neighborhoods and communities from a digital targeting perspective. And we go on to discuss his strategic approach to widely varied clients--from centuries old brick and mortals to the red-hot startup, Careem.

-  As a mentor to Dubai and ME-based startups, Ayman discusses the work he does for entrepreneurs and top incubators in the region; shares his optimistic prognostications for the future of the Dubai startup scene; and goes on to offer his valuable opinion on what are the hottest verticals for digital innovation and disruption in the city right now.

Hosted by:

Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai

https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencerstriker

Special Guest:

Ayman Itani, Founder and CEO of Think Media Labs

https://www.linkedin.com/in/aymanitani

Special thanks to Reina Dib and Joy Semaan of the AUD Marcom Team

https://www.instagram.com/audubai

Huge shout out to stellar AUD student and podcast producer, Rana Daoud

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ranadaoud

 

Audio engineering by AUD Digital Media’s own Anil Mathew James

Featuring original Video Game Remixes by the legendary Chris Bates

Ep 5: Digital Dubai’s Command Center

Hug_SpencerStriker

Digital Media & Tech in Dubai returns with episode 5!! Dubai’s newest podcast focuses on bringing listeners topical segments and informative conversations with local experts exploring the latest news and developments in the digital media and tech scene in the burgeoning international capital that is Dubai. Hosted by Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai--episodes are recorded on location at AUD in the heart of Dubai’s Media City.

Special guest for Ep 5, “Digital Dubai’s Command Center” is Hussein Dajani, COO of Hug Digital http://hugdigital.com/ , a full service digital agency with a passion for simple, creative ideas across media, digital and content--located in Dubai’s Internet City. As one of digital Dubai’s most plugged-in experts, with over 15 years experience in the digital vertical, Hussein also serves as social media marketing lecturer at DM3 Institute, as mentor to startup incubators, Turn8 and Arabreneur, and speaks frequently at conferences all around the region http://about.me/husseindajani

In addition, happy to introduce my AUD student guest co-host for this week, Ehab Ismail, an up and coming digital storyteller and entrepreneur in Dubai.

Topics discussed in episode 5:

- We begin by exploring Hussein’s career path--beginning with a foothold in finance, which he quickly threw off in favor of creative industries. Starting out as Brand Communication Manager for Leo Burnett, Hussein spearheaded integrated marketing strategies at JWT, Leo Burnett, and TBWA\, before becoming head of online communities and communications for Virgin Mobile, Middle East and Africa. Next, as Area Digital Manager, he oversaw the digital campaign for Red Bull in the Middle East and Africa regions as well. Then we talk about his current gig, as COO of Hug Digital; the original pitch he made to the CEO and Chairman of the company; and the cutting-edge digital Command Center he has innovated there.

- In the context of what makes Dubai unique as a place of business and innovation--especially its multicultural complexity and diversity--our conversation explores the space of social/digital influencers, whether there is a bubble, and how to truly determine and quantify impact value.  

- Hussein gives his no-nonsense analysis of the startup scene in Dubai, its strengths and weaknesses; his opinions of Dubai’s top startups to date; the advice he gives to young entrepreneurs as a professional mentor; and his prognostications as to where Dubai’s startup scene is heading. Finally, Hussein breaks down some of Dubai’s digital verticals where he sees opportunity for innovation and disruption.

Hosted by:

Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai

https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencerstriker

Special Guest:

Hussein Dajani, COO Hug Digital

https://www.linkedin.com/in/hdajani

Student Guest Co-Host:
Ehab Ismail, Digital Storyteller and Entrepreneur
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ehab-ismail-abb231107

Special Thanks to Reina Dib and Joy Semaan of the AUD Marcom Team

https://www.instagram.com/audubai

Huge shout out to stellar AUD student and podcast producer, Rana Daoud

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ranadaoud

Audio engineering by AUD Digital Media’s own Anil Mathew James

Featuring original Video Game Remixes by the legendary Chris Bates

Ep 4: Live Streaming Mobile Dubai

Cheryl_SpencerStriker

Digital Media & Tech in Dubai is back with Ep 4!! Our brand new podcast focuses on bringing listeners topical segments and informative conversations with local experts exploring the latest news and developments in the digital media and tech scene in the burgeoning international capital that is Dubai. Hosted by Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai--episodes are recorded on location at AUD in the heart of Dubai’s Media City.

Special guest for Ep 4, “Live Streaming Mobile Dubai,” is Cheryl King, General Manager for markettiers 4DC http://www.markettiers4dc.com/dubai , a company that defines the vanguard of live broadcast for mobile in Dubai and the MENA region. Cheryl spearheaded the Dubai office of markettiers and soon after her arrival oversaw the first ever live interactive Web TV stream in the Middle East region: http://www.markettiers4dc.com/work/case_study/mcg-associates-the-great-talent-debate

Topics discussed in episode 4 include:

The logistics of live streaming content to mobile in Dubai - both the opportunities and potential pitfalls. We delve into the hottest trends in Dubai live streaming, including the recent live broadcast of the Expo 2020 logo unveiling http://gulfmarketingreview.com/events-awards/live-streaming-of-expo2020-logo-creates-a-global-moment We discuss markettiers’ work with NATS, their thought leadership piece on the World in 2050, and their digital promo strategy around that launch http://www.markettiers4dc.com/work/case_study/nats-dubai-office-announcement?dubai

Cheryl breaks down her list of best resources to stay up-to-date on the latest in Dubai, including The National, Arabian Business, Gulf Business, and 7Days. We explore the cutting-edge of live sports broadcasting in Dubai, including the Masters Champions League (MCL) - a unique, new T20 cricket tournament for retired players created by GM Sports.

http://www.markettiers4dc.com/work/case_study/gm-sports-launch-of-masters-champions-league-dubai?dubai Finally, Cheryl shares her insights on the future of live streaming for mobile in Dubai!

Hosted by:

Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai

https://twitter.com/spencerstriker

Special Guest:

Cheryl King, General Manager for markettiers 4DC

https://www.linkedin.com/in/cheryl-king-335a9217

Special Thanks to Reina Dib and Joy Semaan of the AUD Marcom Team

https://www.instagram.com/audubai

Huge shout out to stellar AUD student and podcast producer, Rana Daoud

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ranadaoud

Audio engineering by AUD Digital Media’s own Anil Mathew James

Featuring original Video Game Remixes by the legendary Chris Bates

Ep 3: Ibn Battuta Goes Digital

Nick_SpencerStriker

The third episode of Digital Media & Tech in Dubai is here!! Our brand new podcast focuses on bringing listeners topical segments and informative  conversations with local experts exploring the latest news and developments in the digital media and tech scene in the burgeoning international capital that is Dubai. Hosted by Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai--episodes are recorded on location at AUD in the heart of Dubai’s Media City.

Special guest for episode 3, “Ibn Battuta Goes Digital,” is Nick Lewis, Social Media Director for Holler/Leo Burnett MENA http://leoburnettmena.com/ A specialist in non-traditional content in the digital space, after the acquisition of Holler by Leo Burnett MENA in 2011, Nick came to Dubai as part of the flagship t eam tasked with bringing Holler’s creative digital strategies to the region http://campaignme.com/2014/11/04/16088/social-specialist-holler-launched-bolster-leo-burnett-publicis-integrated-offering/

Topics discussed in episode 3 include:

The experience of taking Holler creative from London to Dubai and observing the city’s rapid shift to mobile and the social web. Nick’s analogy that digital/social technologies can be like the Ibn Battuta of interconnection. And some opinions of who are the key influencers in the region, including:

eL Seed https://www.instagram.com/elseed/

Sherif Fayed https://www.instagram.com/sheriffayed/

Nadya Hasan https://www.instagram.com/thefierce_nay/ (The Fierce Diaries)

Nick talks about the strategic campaigns for both Samsung and Red Bull in Dubai, including tapping into niche crowd cultures in the city via unique technical/creative approaches. For Red Bull, Holler/Leo Burnett launched the hysterical Flugtag event in Dubai, creating compelling lo-fi content while targeting micro-communities with clever storytelling

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-life/20151126/flugtag-lands-in-dubai

Finally, Nick discusses the exciting digital/creative challenges and opportunies surrounding the runup to Dubai 2020.

Hosted by:

Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai

https://twitter.com/spencerstriker

Special Guest:

Nick Lewis, Social Media Director for Holler/Leo Burnett

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick1lewis1

Special Thanks to Reina Dib and Joy Semaan of the AUD Marcom Team

https://www.instagram.com/audubai

And huge shout out to stellar AUD student and podcast producer, Rana Daoud

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ranadaoud

Featuring Video Game Remixes by the legendary Chris Bates

Ep 2: PAZ Knows Digital

Paz_SpencerStriker

Welcome back to Digital Media & Tech in Dubai, (DMT/d), for the second episode of our brand new podcast focused on bringing listeners topical segments and informative conversations with local experts exploring the latest news and developments in the digital media and tech scene in the burgeoning international capital that is Dubai, as well as the greater ME area. Hosted by Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai--the episodes are recorded on location at AUD in the heart of Dubai’s Media City.

Special guest for episode 2, “PAZ Knows Digital Dubai,” is Joe Akkawi, Chief Digital Officer at PAZ Marketing, an influential PR firm based here in the city that he co-founded with his father and sister back in 2007: http://pazmarketing.com/ As a graduate of the American University in Dubai, Joe went from earning an IT degree in 2004, to working in web development in the early 2000s, to running digital/social for PAZ, where he manages top clients, from hot startups like Fetchr to megabrands like Harley Davidson.

Topics discussed in episode 2 include:

The growth of PAZ Marketing in Dubai during the city’s dynamic decade. Joe’s opinions on who are the key social media influencers in the region right now, including:

Max of Arabia https://www.instagram.com/maxofarabia/

Bin Baz https://www.instagram.com/bin_baz/

Huda Beauty https://www.instagram.com/hudabeauty/

How the expansion of PAZ Marketing has mirrored the rise of the Dubai startup scene these past ten years, whereby key startups have hired PAZ to scale them toward rapid impact, including Cobone.com (acquired by Tiger Global), Sukar (acquired by Souq), and CashU (acquired by Maktoob). Current PAZ clients range from successful Dubai-based startup, Fetchr http://fetchr.us/about/ , to one of America’s most icon brands, Harley-Davidson, http://www.harley-davidson-dubai.com/ , for which Joe has the awesome challenge of strategically rebranding for the GCC, Levant, and NA regions.

Finally, Joe provides some expert insights on how to approach a Snapchat marketing play in the region, as well as some of forecasts for the future of digital Dubai.

Hosted by:

Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai

https://twitter.com/spencerstriker

Special Guest:

Joe Akkawi, Chief Digital Officer, PAZ Marketing

https://twitter.com/JoeAkkawi

Special Thanks to Reina Dib and Joy Semaan of the AUD Marcom Team

https://www.instagram.com/audubai

And huge shout out to stellar AUD student and podcast producer, Rana Daoud

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ranadaoud

Featuring Video Game Remixes by the legendary Chris Bates

Ep 1: Dubai Does Business

DMDT_SpencerStriker

Welcome to the first episode of Digital Media & Tech in Dubai, (DMT/d), the brand new podcast focused on bringing listeners topical segments and informative conversations with local experts exploring the latest news and developments in the digital media and tech scene in the burgeoning international capital that is Dubai, as well as the greater ME area. Hosted by Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai--the episodes are recorded on location at AUD in the heart of Dubai’s Media City.

Special guests for the first episode, “Dubai Does Business,” are Andrew Staples, Chief Business Reporter for Gulf News, the leading newspaper in the region, and Maha Abouelenein, Managing Director of OC (“Organizational Consultants”), and former Head of Communications, Google MENA. Both Andrew and Maha are true insiders, brimming with expert knowledge of the Dubai tech scene, making for a rich, in-depth conversation.

Topics discussed in episode 1 include:

The startup climate in Dubai, and whether Dubai could be the next Silicon Valley, and whether or not that’s even the right question to be asking. More importantly, what makes Dubai Dubai?

We explore the social media scene in Dubai and some of the top social media influencers in the city and the region. We discuss some of the key startup successes in Dubai’s recent history, such as Careem, as well as unique barriers to entry to building a business in the city.

Other relevant, interesting topics include:  

500 Startups $30m initiative in the region, 500 Falcons http://500.co/500-falcons-hasan-haider-mena/

The debut of the World Drone Grand Prix in Dubai http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/society/world-drone-grand-prix-debuts-in-dubai-1.1688616

The startup behind the fascinating ‘Save Steve’s Job’ campaign http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/media/the-start-up-behind-save-steve-s-job-1.1656274
 

Hosted by:

Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai

https://twitter.com/spencerstriker
 

Special Guests:

Andrew Staples, Chief Business Reporter for Gulf News

http://gulfnews.com/writers/andrew-staples

 

Maha Abouelenein, Managing Director of OC

https://twitter.com/mahagaber

 

Special Thanks to Reina Dib and Joy Semaan of the AUD Marcom Team

Featuring Video Game Remixes by the legendary Chris Bates