While it continues its Asian expansion, OTT service iflix is targeting a launch in the Middle East and North Africa this year, entering into a partnership with regional mobile and data services operator Zain.
The joint venture iflix Arabia will bring the OTT platform to MENA in the second quarter. The Dubai-based iflix Arabia will reach Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, with the potential for additional expansion. Zain’s mobile customers will be able to access iflix’s lineup of TV shows, movies and more with Arabic subtitles. The slate will encompass Hollywood, Bollywood, regional and local programs, as well as more than 2,000 episodes of children’s content. The platform does plan to introduce exclusive Arabic series.
“The establishment of the joint venture iflix Arabia instantly creates enormous value for both Zain and iflix stakeholders, given the synergies created and the new revenue streams that will be generated by the expected takeup of this appealing internet TV service from the general public and Zain customers,” said Bader Al Kharafi, vice chairman of Zain Group. “This is a monumental step forward for Zain in our journey to become the premier digital lifestyle provider in the MENA region.”
Scott Gegenheimer, group CEO of Zain, commented, “iflix has done an exceptional job in spearheading the entertainment revolution in Asia and truly has an industry leading product. What distinguishes iflix is its constant innovation and commitment to offering its customers an exceptional and entertaining digital experience, which is at the heart of what Zain stands for. We look forward to bringing our 47 million customers and regional mobile operations into the iflix footprint.”
Mark Britt, iflix’s co-founder and group CEO, noted, “Zain is a true pioneer in innovation with a deep understanding of the culture and evolution of digital businesses. This collaboration represents an exciting step in iflix’s growth story as we launch in the MENA region with a partner who shares our vision and commitment to deliver an outstanding service and create awesome experiences for our customers.”
John-Paul McKerlie, CEO of iflix Arabia, added: “The teaming of Zain and iflix has empowered both businesses with the capacity to offer customers the most incredible content services. A great mix of local and international catalogs will reach audiences using Zain’s leading networks, guaranteeing the best speeds for streaming and user experience, bringing even more content to customers and enhancing their viewing experience. We are very excited about the launch and what it means for our customers and shareholders in the future.”
The OTT platform is currently available in several Asian markets, including Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.