The distribution of video content in the MENA region has been dominated by satellite TV operators to date. However, there is a noticeable opportunity for the premium content generally and in specific for the over-the-top content (OTT), produced by OSN and MBC for example via the Shahid brand.
In order to maximize the opportunity of the OTT and Premium Online Video Content in MENA, it should be clearly profiled in terms of the market size, potential, willingness to pay for the online content and users’ preferences.
Some key highlights across three of the key MENA markets: KSA, UAE & Egypt:
Size & potentiality:
- In KSA 67% of the population are millennials (under the age of 30), in the UAE the Millennials are 50% and Egypt 60%.
- KSA in specific is famously known as having one of the highest per capita consumption for the online video.
- This market context represents in principle a perfect potential for premium and OTT players to deliver new content offerings.
Willingness to Pay for Online Content:
- 62% of internet users have paid for digital content in 2016, compared with 59% in 2015.
- Three main models are opted by consumers to access the online content:
- They can pay a one-time fee to own/download the content (51% of users who paid for online content)
- They also can pay a monthly or annual subscription fees (49% of users who paid for online content)
- They can pay to rent the viewership, i.e. pay per view of certain online content (38% of users who paid for online content)
Online Content Preferences in the MENA Region:
- Videos drive most of the content subscription revenues with movies and sports are the top-cited as preferred genres.
- Magazines/Newspapers are the least subscribed content types (10% of users who paid for online content).
- Smartphones are the most used devices to stream online videos (71% of users who paid for online content and with far distance followed by desktop or laptop (57% of users who paid for online content).
- Credit cards come at the top of payment methods used to pay for online content with a rate (29% of users who paid for online content).
Summary of OTT and Premium Online Video Content in MENA Research:
The MENA region offers enormous potential for those delivering OTT services. Just over a half of internet users in Ipsos survey representing some 17 million adults across KSA, UAE and Egypt are paying for online content in its different forms. A third or around 10 million users say they are very likely to subscribe over the next 12 months to an online video service. Sports and the latest movie releases are key drivers, Arabic movies, and Arabic content should not be ignored, especially in Egypt.
To offer a truly premium service, operators need to think beyond just the content. The availability of different payment options, high-quality experience, and customer service are very important too.