Netflix is expected to continue to dominate the SVOD market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), according to Digital TV Research, which projects that the region will have a total of 20.8 million SVOD subscribers by 2023, up from 5.2 million at the end of last year.
The Middle East & North Africa OTT TV & Video Forecasts report covers 20 countries across the region. Turkey will remain the largest SVOD market in MENA with about 6.7 million subs by 2023. By platform, meanwhile, Netflix will remain the largest with 7.4 million subs (3.6 million in Arabic-speaking markets), well ahead of its closest competitor, Starz Play, with 2.8 million subs. Shahid Plus is expected to grow to 1.6 million subs and Amazon to 1.3 million. Other key players include icflix (729,000), beIN (689,000), Wavo (675,000) and iflix (315,000). These eight multinational platforms will account for 75 percent of the region’s SVOD subscribers by end-2023, up from 56 percent in 2017. Excluding Israel and Turkey, these eight platforms will have 91 percent of the total SVOD subscriber pie.
Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, noted, “Netflix is dominant across the MENA region. This is partly because it operates in more territories than its Arabic competitors—it has significant subs bases in Israel and Turkey. However, its success is down to more than geographic reach. The global appeal of its original content has spread throughout the region.”
Murray added, “Although overall subscriber numbers will climb impressively, there are just too many Arabic platforms. They do not offer enough original or exclusive content to seriously challenge Netflix. We do not believe that the market can sustain this many Arabic platforms in the long run. Our report only covers paying SVOD subscribers—not those receiving free platforms as part of their pay TV subscription.”