App of the Month: Anghami, a digital music service that is often called "Spotify of the Middle East," offers legal music streaming and downloading options for the Arab world.

Only founded in 2012, Anghami expanded rapidly in the Middle East, partnering with 11 telecoms companies across the region . The music application now boasts 5 million downloads, with a library of over 4 million songs. Anghami signed deals with Middle Eastern labels Rotana, Mazzika, Melody and international labels like Sony Music and EMI, ensuring that users can jam to both Amr Diab and Michael Jackson.

Why we love this app:

  • The service allows you to look up specific songs or artists, create playlists and listen to friends' playlists. It also suggests playlists based on mood like "Summer" or "Morning" as well as on topic likes "Lebanese Pop" or "Dabkeh."
  • The library is searchable in Arabic and English.
  • Leaving a WiFi zone? No problem. With downloads and offline access, you can still listen to your music while in the car.
  • The library features one of the largest collections of Arab music on any audio streaming platform.
  • It is one of the only streaming platforms in the Middle East that is available on both your phone and on a computer, meaning that your music library is accessible wherever.

One downside:

  • There are ads if you only use the free version. But, with any legal streaming service, that is going to happen. Someone needs to pay the artist.

If you haven't downloaded the app yet, good news. It is available for free for the first month. After that, you have to pay $4.99 for Anghami plus, which allows unlimited downloads, offline access, unlimited playtime and no ads. If you are pinching pennies, Anghami is still available for free, but without the aforementioned perks.

In addition to being a cool app, this Lebanese company is often touted as a successful start up story in the region. After receiving $1 million in first round of funding from venture capital fund Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), they closed a second round of funding in August 2014 with Saudi Arabian venture capital firm Mobily Ventures. It was reported that they were looking to finalize their second round with an additional $1.5 million, but the amount that they received was never publicly confirmed.

Have an App Of The Month? Suggest it at #StepApp.