UAE's StarzPlay eyes launch of 50 new shows in 2019

Subscription on-demand video service outlines plan to build on 'record breaking' growth last year
UAE's StarzPlay eyes launch of 50 new shows in 2019
Most of the new shows catalogue will be unique to the StarzPlay platform and will air on the same day and time as they debut in the US.
By Sam Bridge
Fri 18 Jan 2019 12:32 PM

StarzPlay, the MENA region’s fastest-growing subscription on-demand video service, plans to enhance its offering by releasing up to 50 new shows in 2019.

The company said it is aiming to consolidate its dominant regional market share over the next four years, following a record-breaking year of subscriber uptake and new, or renewed, multi-region partnerships in 2018.

Maaz Sheikh, co-founder and CEO of StarzPlay, said most of the new shows catalogue will be unique to the StarzPlay platform and will air on the same day and time as they debut in the US.

He added that further blockbuster movies and popular Arabic series are also a focus for StarzPlay this year.

“There is a strong global shift towards OTT subscription services such as StarzPlay and this region is no different,” said Sheikh. “Independent reports show that StarzPlay is the number one OTT provider in the MENA region, with a 26 percent share of the overall regional market – including Egypt and the Maghreb region of Arab and French-speaking North Africa.

“By 2022, our data and predictions suggest StarzPlay will further increase its regional market share to around six million paying subscribers – positioning the brand as the stand-out leader in the OTT streaming segment,” added Sheikh.

In 2018, the platform added the entire catalogue of The Big Bang Theory, before launching season 5B of cult action-drama series Vikings.

At 80 percent of all StarzPlay subscribers, Arabic speakers constitute the majority of its 700,000 users, while 50 percent of all UAE subscribers are Emirati.

StarzPlay subscribers are 100 percent Arabic in Egypt and the Mahgreb, while 85 percent of its Saudi audience are nationals.

“We have the most on-demand shows offered in the region and provide content we know our subscribers want. The joy of digital is that we can see within half an hour of releasing a new show how popular it is. We listen to our customer needs and our audience want on-demand shows,” said Sheikh.

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