The online video advertising market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will more than double to reach $2.3bn in 2027 according to the latest research from Omdia.
“MENA is generating worldwide interest in the online advertising market thanks to the immense growth potential linked to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. With more than half of online video advertising revenues expected from TikTok, Meta and YouTube, online video players must integrate social video into their video strategies. It is important to note that this growth is the free video space and will not be to the detriment of the online video subscription market which is on track to reach $1.5bn in 2027 representing 54 % growth.”
Subscription video on demand (SVOD) subscriptions reached 11.1 million at the end of 2022, and more than 2 million new subscriptions expected this year.
The leading player is Arabic video on demand service, Shahid VIP, with 2.7 million subscriptions. In a close second place is STARZPLAY Arabia with 2.1 million subscriptions and NETFLIX is in third place with less than 2 million subscriptions.
Shahid holds the largest catalogue of Arabic content in the region offering popular original shows such as Al Thaman and Stiletto and coverage of the Saudi Pro League. There are also plans to launch more than 20 new free ad-supported television (FAST) channels.
STARZPLAY Arabia saw its numbers increase to 2.1 million subscriptions driven by subscribers to its premium football and cricket content thanks to telco partnership deals.
Netflix has continued to invest in original content in the Middle East, however, the scale and scope of its content is limited. The success of Dubai Bling should lead to more investments in high-quality, Middle East-focused, unscripted content in the region. The streaming service has also amended its pricing strategy between the Gulf and North African countries to make it more accessible to low-income countries in the region.
Omdia forecasts that SVOD and telco partnerships will play a significant role in the growth of the online video services in the MENA region.
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