OSN to launch Netflix-like streaming service for MENA
| 16 May 2014
Middle East pay-TV operator OSN is set to launch an online video streaming service called Go, in addition to the subscription-based satellite television and catch-up services it already provides in the Arab world.
'Go by OSN' is expected to help Dubai-based OSN gain a foothold in a growing over-the-top (OTT) video market where Netflix and other major western players are conspicuous by their absence. It will compete with new regional players such as icflix and Istikana.
OSN's latest service will offer tens of thousands of hours of film and television content for smartphone, tablet and PC consumption, according to the Wall Street Journal. Although it is unlikely to offer the latest shows until after they are broadcast on its pay-TV service – which costs between AED110 and AED400 a month – it can call upon a large content library thanks to its existing arrangements with both Hollywood and Arab studios.
Video streaming is rife in the region, with Google stating the Middle East and North Africa is YouTube's second biggest market in terms of viewership, with 14.5 million hours of video from the online platform watched every day.