Streaming video revenues in MENA to surpass $1.2bn in 2024

Wednesday, May 29th, 2024 
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Omdia: Streaming video revenues in MENA to surpass $1.2bn in 2024

LONDON — The Over-The-Top (OTT) video streaming market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region experienced robust growth in 2023, with Omdia data reporting a 13% increase across the region and revenues exceeding $1 billion. Leading in this dynamic market are Shahid and StarzPlay, which dominate with significant market shares and innovative strategies.

MENA - OTT services market split - Shahid, Starz Play Arabia, Netflix, Amazon prime Video, Jawwy TV, Watch It, Disney+, TOD, OSN+, Apple TV +, Others - Q4 2023 - Infographic

The OTT market’s impressive growth in 2023 underscores the region’s increasing demand for digital entertainment, with revenues exceeding $1 billion. Strategic partnerships and bundle offerings have been key to this success, enhancing accessibility and content diversity. Omdia forecasts continued positive results, with revenues expected to reach $1.2 billion in 2024.

Year-round content production has mitigated seasonal subscription fluctuations in the MENA region, leading to higher subscription rates and reduced churn after Ramadan. Despite this, Ramadan remains a peak period for drama, with platforms like ADTV and Watch IT gaining significant popularity to meet regional demand.

Omdia’s research shows that Shahid, part of MBC, leads the MENA streaming video market with a 22% market share, amounting to 3.6 million subscribers by the end of 2023. Shahid’s strength lies in its extensive local Arabic content, which resonates deeply with regional audiences, especially during Ramadan.

StarzPlay follows closely with an 18% market share and 3 million subscribers. Identifying and filling content gaps in the region, has allowed StarzPlay to strengthen its competitive edge through their:

  • AVOD Launch: A soft launch in November 2023 followed by a full launch in February 2024.
  • Exclusive Content: Highly anticipated series like “The Walking Dead: Dead City” having premiered in March 2024.
  • Sports Content: Exclusive rights to major sporting events such as the Cricket Asia Cup (September 2023), Cricket World Cup (October 2023), IPL (May 2024), Rugby World Cup (October 2023), Six Nations (March 2024), and UFC (March 2024).

Speaking at CABSAT 2024, Dubai, Maria Rua Aguete, Senior Research Director at Omdia, remarked: “MENA is a growth area with huge potential. The top three players—Shahid, StarzPlay, and Netflix—each have unique strategies and complementary offerings. In the advertising space, FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV) is currently limited in this region, but we anticipate significant growth over the next four years, with global players like Samsung entering the market.”

Online video advertising presents the most significant growth opportunity, while MENA’s Pay TV expansion demonstrates how bundling can combat piracy. FAST channel revenues in MENA hit $7.2 million in 2023 and are poised for rapid growth. The future of streaming video services in the MENA region appears exceptionally promising, with Shahid and StarzPlay at the forefront of innovation and growth. The market is expected to continue its upward trend, offering a wider array of localized content to cater to the evolving preferences of Middle Eastern audiences.

Links: Omdia