Online piracy remains a serious issue for many industries worldwide due to the difficulties of enforcement and the lack of reasonable online legal alternatives to piracy. Services such as Mawaly and Yala prove that the Arabic music industry is willing to do whatever it takes to survive: Let everyone download all the music they want free of charge.
Mawaly, a website affiliated with Rotana (the biggest record label in the Arab world) allows anyone to download music from all of Rotana’s signed artists, as well as artists from other labels, directly free of charge and with no strings attached. Yala is music a streaming service similar to Spotify that works on a freemium model, but unlike Spotify, it does not require users to register to listen to music on its website and also allows users to legally download complete mp3 files of the music free of charge.
The arguments against the damage that piracy causes to the music industry have been going on for years, but can the Arab music industry prove that it is possible for the industry to survive even when the all of the actual music is given away free of charge?