Arabookverse Is Beat Technology’s Entry Into the Middle East

In News by Porter Anderson

The newly announced agreement will support Arabookverse’s Arabic-language audiobook offerings, using Beat Technology’s services.

From left, Arabookverse’s Ali Abdul-Moneim, Beat’s Nathan Hull, and Arabookverse’s ahmed Rewihel. Image: Beat Technology

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Bringing Beat’s Platforms to the Middle East
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the 2024 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair runs April 29 to May 5.

News ahead of this year’s program is that the London-based Arabookverse has agreed to have Norway’s Beat Technology create its D2C platforms and audiobook retail services in the Middle East.

The agreement represents the first of Beat’s work in the Middle Eastern and North African markets.

Arabookverse specializes in distributing Arabic digital content internationally. The company’s team includes:

  • Ali Abdul-Moneim, previously of Storytel Arabia with more than 23 years of publishing experience;
  • Ahmed Rewihel, a founding member of Kitab Sawti, which was acquired by Storytel in 2020, and an Egyptian entrepreneur with 16 years of publishing and business experience in the region
  • Waleed Sameh, a former COO of the first ebook platform in the Middle East powered by Vodafone

Rewihel, the co-founding CBO at Arabookverse, says, “The interest in audiobooks and digital reading generally in the Middle East has grown immensely over recent years.

Ahmed Rewihel

“Beat Technology’s apps and UX are the best we’ve seen. Bringing that expertise into our own offering feels like the perfect combination for publishers, institutions, and B2B partners in our region.

“Both companies have the common target of bringing stories to as many eyes and ears as possible. Together we can really accelerate this into a reality for Arabic listeners and readers putting Arabic literature in a position it deserves.”

Beat, based in Bergen, is well known to Publishing Perspectives readers and has provided audiobook and ebook services in Norway (Fabel); Germany (Skoobe); the Netherlands (Fluister); Adlibris (Sweden/Finland); Romania (Audiotribe); Poland (Volume); Greece (Jukebooks); Legible (Canada); and Gardners (the United Kingdom).

Nathan Hull

Hull, Beat’s chief strategy officer, says, “The scale of opportunity for audiobooks and ebooks in the Middle East has excited me for years.”

He says he has traveled extensively in the region, “waiting for the right moment and looking for the precise partner. Arabookverse has the perfect combination of infrastructure, content catalogue, business acumen and publishing knowledge. Having Ahmed, Ali, Waleed and their team on the ground to navigate culture, language and partnerships is hugely exciting.”

The cooperation is expected to see Beat Technology’s offering of ebook, audiobook, podcast, and retail approaches work with Arabookverse’s local recording studios, a catalogue of 11,000 titles, and digital distribution coalesce to reach a large segment of Arabic-language consumers.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is here, more on Beat Technology is here, more on Arabookverse is here, and more on audiobooks is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.