MENA mar­ket dy­nam­ics: Op­por­tu­ni­ties and threats

ArabAd - - STUDY -

PIRACY: THE SCALE OF THE PROB­LEM AND EF­FORTS TO AD­DRESS IT NET­FLIX AND ITS IM­PACT ON THE MENA TV MAR­KET

t 5IF XJEF BWBJMBCJMJUZ PG CPPUMFH TBUFMMJUF DIBOOFMT BOE stream­ing ser­vices makes TV piracy a se­ri­ous prob­lem in the MENA re­gion. Many coun­tries have been, at the rec­om­men­da­tion of the In­ter­na­tional In­tel­lec­tual Property Al­liance (IIPA), placed on the US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s Watch List, which can re­sult in trade sanc­tions. The UAE was lat­est coun­try the IIPA rec­om­mended to be placed on the list, in early 2016. t 5IFSF BSF TFWFSBM GBDUPST UIBU NBLF UIF .&/" SFHJPO BOE hot­bed for TV piracy: 1. The avail­abil­ity of a rich, well-es­tab­lished FTA of­fer­ing has con­di­tioned many con­sumers to be­lieve that en­ter­tain­ment con­tent should be freely ac­ces­si­ble. As a re­sult, some con­sumers com­mit­ting piracy are not even aware they are steal­ing con­tent. 2. In coun­tries in­clud­ing Saudi Ara­bia and Qatar, the in­stal­la­tion of a satel­lite dish is banned. This pro­hi­bi­tion notwith­stand­ing, satel­lite pen­e­tra­tion in Saudi Ara­bia and some other MENA coun­tries is above 90% as au­thor­i­ties not ac­tively en­force the ban. This lack of en­force­ment le­git­imises il­le­gal satel­lite TV re­cep­tion in the eyes of many con­sumers. 3. Fight­ing piracy is not a pri­or­ity for the reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties re­spon­si­ble for TV in MENA coun­tries. Some coun­tries in the re­gion do not even have a TV reg­u­la­tory author­ity. 4. Only a mi­nor­ity of coun­tries in the re­gion have put in place a leg­isla­tive frame­work pro­tect­ing In­tel­lec­tual Property, one such ex­am­ple be­ing Egypt. 5. There is some­times a con­flict of in­ter­est, as some of the share­hold­ers in le­git­i­mate pay TV providers also to have con­trol­ling stakes in satel­lite op­er­a­tors car­ry­ing chan­nels of­fer­ing pi­rated con­tent. Also, mem­bers of the rul­ing elite in some MENA coun­tries have stakes in some of these boot­leg chan­nels. 6. The large price dif­fer­en­tial be­tween the pack­ages of­fered

by le­git­i­mate and by unau­tho­rised op­er­a­tors. t 4PNF VOJMBUFSBM BDUJPOT UP BEESFTT UIF QJSBDZ QSPCMFN o such as the swap­ping-out of set-top boxes by OSN in 2010 – have achieved some suc­cess. There are higher hopes for a mul­ti­lat­eral ini­tia­tive: the for­ma­tion of the Broad­cast­ers & Satel­lite Anti- Piracy Coali­tion by OSN and MBC in 2014. The Coali­tion’s goals is to fight piracy by: a) Co-or­di­nated le­gal ac­tion b) Ed­u­ca­tion cam­paigns and c) Bring­ing on-board and com­mit­ting all key in­dus­try

play­ers t 5IF $PBMJUJPO DMBJNT UP IBWF NBOBHFE UP DMPTF EPXO

boot­leg chan­nels in 2014. t 1SJPS UP UIF MBVODI PG /FUGMJY JO .&/" DPVOUSJFT in Jan­uary 2016, there were al­ready sev­eral wellestab­lished on­line-video ser­vices, both free and pay, avail­able in the re­gion. t 5IJT JODMVEFT UXP QBO SFHJPOBM PGGFSJOHT *TUJLBOB which pri­mar­ily of­fer­ing clas­sic Ara­bic films and TV se­ries not usu­ally avail­able on DVD or VOD and launched in 2011; and Icflix, which of­fers a range of non-pre­mium Ara­bic, Bol­ly­wood and US con­tent and launched 2013. t .#$ UIF MBSHFTU '5" CSPBEDBTUFS JO UIF .&/" SFHJPO launched the ad-funded VOD por­tal Shahid in 2010, of­fer­ing a catch-up TV ser­vice to­gether with Ara­bic and US movies and TV se­ries. In 2014, MBC launched an SVOD ver­sion of the por­tal branded Shahid Plus. Shahid Plus of­fers more re­cent movies and TV se­ries, plus more con­tent in HD and 3D. t 04/ JT UIF POMZ QBZ 57 PQFSBUPS JO .&/" UP PGGFS a pay TV lite, stand­alone on­line-video ser­vice – it launched ‘Go by OSN’ in 2014. The of­fer­ing is cen­tered around US and Ara­bic movies and TV se­ries and is priced at $10 per month. t *O "QSJM 64 FOUFSUBJONFOU DPNQBOZ 4UBS[ launched Starz Play, an SVOD ser­vice of­fer­ing more than 3,000 movies and TV se­ries re­leas­ing episodes at the same time as in the US. t $PNQFUJUJPO XJMM OPU CF UIF POMZ IVSEMF GPS /FUGMJY Other fac­tors that may hin­der its suc­cess, at least ini­tially, are: 1. The lack of lo­cal-ara­bic con­tent 2. The huge gap be­tween the num­ber of movies and TV se­ries of­fered in the UAE – 611 – com­pared to the US cat­a­log of 5,379. 3. Net­flix does not have the MENA rights for two of its flag­ship TV se­ries, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. 4. Broad­band pen­e­tra­tion dis­par­ity in the MENA re­gion: high pen­e­tra­tion in the Gulf, low in Le­vant and North Africa. 5. The cost of the ser­vice (at $9.99 per month) is con­sid­ered to be ex­pen­sive out­side the Gulf coun­tries 6. In spite of these lim­it­ing fac­tors, the growth po­ten­tial for MENA’S on­line-video mar­ket is high and Net­flix will be an im­por­tant player con­tribut­ing to this. The ser­vice’s high pro­file serves to ed­u­cate con­sumers on the avail­abil­ity of video-stream­ing ser­vices, and also make them more re­cep­tive to sub­scrip­tion pric­ing mod­els.

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