Over the Top (OTT) platforms are media services that offer direct streaming of videos for the customers on devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets, desktops, televisions, etc., over the internet. The growing inclination of people on these platforms is swiftly bypassing other platforms like cables, broadcast, & satellite televisions, among other conventional sources. In Middle East & Africa, the OTT video market is still evolving in terms of content and business models. However, the population and demographic across the region are highly attractive as a market for existing and new market participants. Internet penetration, supplemented by explosion of smartphones, has altered the way Middle East & Africa watches television. This growth is augmented by government initiatives on internet proliferation and large-scale digital transformation. Along with pricing, customisation and personalisation with data analytics will play a key role in defining the market leader over the next five years. The internet penetration rate in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region varies widely among countries, but overall the region has lower internet penetration compared to other regions such as Europe and North America. According to recent data, the average internet penetration rate in the MEA region is around 50%, but this can range from over 90% in countries like the United Arab Emirates to less than 30% in countries such as Yemen. Factors contributing to low internet penetration in the region include limited access to high-speed internet, affordability issues, and limited infrastructure development in rural areas. According to the research report, “Middle East & Africa Over The Top Market Outlook, 2028” published by Bonafide Research, the market is anticipated to add USD 5.96 Billion market size from 2023 to 2028. People in the Middle East & Africa region are increasingly seeking out high-quality, on-demand content, driving demand for OTT services. As the region continues to grow economically, more people are able to afford OTT subscriptions and premium content, further driving growth in the sector. Also, the region is undergoing a digital transformation, with more and more businesses and individuals adopting technology to drive growth and improve their daily lives. OTT services are a key part of this trend. Overall, the combination of these factors is driving the growth of OTT services in the Middle East & Africa region and creating a significant opportunity for companies looking to enter the market. Some of the local players are taking initiatives towards developing OTT services. For instance, Showmax, a South African OTT platform launched in 2015, is operating in around 70 countries and is a leading producer of African-based content. This generates new market opportunities for key players. As new technologies like 5G are adopted, OTT consumption is expected see another boom tracking with rising per capita income and internet speeds. To prepare, the leading OTT players are looking for capacity to get closer to new customers. The introduction of 5G network across densely populated countries is likely to attract a greater customer base for video-on-demand services in the coming years. As a result, the burgeoning demand for OTT platforms based on 'Video on Demand' services would fuel the overall market growth during 2022-27. Moreover, the increasing focus of the OTT service providers on expanding their customer base is further projecting a growing number of partnerships with operators throughout the Middle East & Africa during the forecast period. According to the report, the market is segmented into various types including such as AVOD (Advertising-based Video On Demand), SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand), TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand) and others. Among them, SVOD segment is leading the market with over 52% market share in 2022. Middle Eastern countries are experiencing partnerships between customer management service providers and SVOD service providers. For instance, in August 2021, OSN chose Evergent to power monetization and customer management for OSN's new streaming video service in the Middle East region. Moreover, the company is the exclusive distributor of new Disney+ Originals in the Middle East & Africa and has long-term partnerships with major studios, including HBO, NBC Universal, FOX, Paramount, MGM, and Sony. Further, in September 2021, the Middle Eastern on-demand streaming service TenTime partnered with the technology outfit Accedo to help expand the availability of content on its SVOD service to connected TV platforms. Similarly, music streaming services have also taken centre stage across the Middle East & Africa market. Over the past few years, the region has witnessed significant growth in online listenership with increased customer adoption, technology, and partnerships, driving growth for music streaming platforms. In recent years, the Middle East region has witnessed multiple streaming services launch, from Netflix to Spotify, with more streaming service providers looking to enter the market. For instance, in September 2021, YouTube announced the launch of its paid Music and Premium services in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and five other markets. Based on the content type, the market is segmented into various types including video streaming, game streaming, audio streaming and communication. Video streaming segment is leading the market in 2022 whereas audio streaming segment has occupied nearly one forth portion of the market. On the basis of countries, Saudi Arabia is dominating the market in 2022. Since removing the ban on cinemas a few years back, the entertainment sector of Saudi Arabia has witnessed remarkable growth. For instance, according to the findings, over the past five years, the country's entertainment industry has been granted about 2,189 new licenses, 1,809 new permits, and more than 2,500 events that drew over 80 million attendees through the end of 2021. Media consumption across Saudi Arabia is increasingly happening in digital formats. The rise in the number of devices capable of supporting digital media and OTT platforms and increasing internet access speed has provided users with an option to access the media content of their choice. Further, major OTT players adopt organic and inorganic growth strategies through innovations, portfolio expansions, partnerships, and acquisitions. For instance, in February 2021, Discovery announced a long-term partnership with Saudi telecom group's digital entertainment arm Intigral to provide broadcast and subscription-video-on-demand content to its flagship OTT service, Jawwy TV. In February 2021, Asharq News, a multiplatform economic and political news service, achieved a leap in delivering news content across multiple platforms by launching a mobile video live streaming format based on artificial intelligence. It was the first in Saudi Arabia and only the second media entity globally to offer this service. On the other hand, UAE would remain a major contributor to the overall growth of the OTT Market during the forecast period. It owes principally to the increasing penetration of the internet & smart devices entwined with new marketing strategies by the service providers, gaining a massive customer base across the country. Besides, the extensive availability of OTT subscriptions at affordable rates & growing awareness about such platforms are also fuelling the market growth across the UAE. Moreover, growing customer preference for 'Video on Demand' for Sports, International TV series, & Hollywood releases, among others, are anticipated to continue fuelling the demand for OTT platforms in the UAE over the coming years. E-vision, a subsidiary of the e&, formerly known as Etisalat Group is expected to launch the consolidated OTT streaming services in the upcoming year. UAE residents will be able to access all of their favourite OTT (Over-the-Top) platforms offering film and TV content on a single consolidated service, without the need to subscribe to each OTT separately. The Middle East is quickly becoming one of the leading regions in the world in terms of smart device adoption. According to the report, the market is segmented into various devices including smartphones and tablets, desktops and laptops, smart TVs & set-top box and gaming consoles & streaming devices. Among them, smart TVs & set-top box segment is leading the market owing to increasing subscriptions across the globe. Among them, smartphones and tablets segment is leading the market with more than 60% market share in 2022. Yet despite the low penetration, interest is strong—as suggested by the popularity of online short video services such as YouTube—and a flurry of new services has emerged. Etisalat introduced its eLife TV app on iOS in 2013, just one year after MBC's Shahid TV app became the top downloaded app in the Middle East App Store. Istikana and icflix, which follow a Netflix model, launched the region's first major standalone OTTv services in 2011 and 2013 respectively. OSN recently followed by announcing the launch of Go by OSN for non-pay TV subscribers. In 2014, beIN SPORTS launched its OTT service and began selling multiscreen subscriptions and MBC partnered with Samsung to launch Shahid on smart TVs. Further, there are many major developments are recorded across the region in recent years in terms of technology. According to the report, the market is segmented into various service verticals including media and entertainment, education and learning, gaming and service utility. Of them all, the demand for OTT platforms for media & entertainment purposes is anticipated to observe a prominent growth in the Middle East & Africa Over The Top (OTT) Market during the forecast period. It owes principally to the growing inclination of the people, especially the younger generation, on films, web series, documentaries, etc., i.e., projecting a mounting utilization of OTT platforms in the coming years. Besides, the growing popularity of Bollywood & Hollywood video content across the region entwined with the availability of streaming such content at affordable prices is another crucial aspect likely to play a crucial role in driving the market through 2028. The media and entertainment (M&E) industry has been one of the first business sectors to steer digital disruption, and its transformation is far from over. As critical networks and studios continue to unveil their direct-to-consumer streaming facilities in 2022, players are likely to scramble to propose content libraries wide enough to both attract and hold customers, permitting and generating chances and opportunities for media and entertainment companies to re-aggregate their content libraries with a comprehensive collection of offerings, from music, video, and gaming services to ad-supported content. There are several start-ups operating in the OTT (Over-the-Top) media space in the Middle East and Africa. Some of the most notable ones include: • Starz Play: A Middle Eastern-based streaming service that offers a wide range of movies, TV shows, and original content. • Icflix: A Middle Eastern-based streaming service that offers a wide range of movies, TV shows, and live TV channels. • iflix: A Southeast Asian-based streaming service that has expanded into the Middle East and Africa, offering a wide range of movies, TV shows, and live TV channels. • Showmax: A South African-based streaming service that offers a wide range of movies, TV shows, and original content. • DSTV Now: A South African-based streaming service offered by the largest satellite TV provider in Africa that offers a wide range of live TV channels and on-demand content. Recent Developments • May 2022 - The UAE T20 League signed a long-term global media rights contract with entertainment major Zee. Zee will air the tournament on Zee's linear channels and OTT platform Zee5 worldwide as part of the deal. • November 2021 - Saudi Arabia announced an investment of USD 64 billion in its entertainment industry. The investment is a part of the Saudi Government's vision to wean the economy off oil and transform the country into a premier movie hub in the Middle Eastern region. • August 2021 - UAE's leading public media services company, Abu Dhabi Media, announced an agreement with Starplay to broadcast the Asian Championship matches for national clubs and teams. Abu Dhabi Media will own broadcasting rights exclusively in the UAE from 2021 to 2024. In 2022 it will also broadcast the Qatar World Cup. Major Companies present in the market: Netflix, Inc, The Walt Disney Company, Apple, Inc, Amazon.com, Inc., Paramount Global, Warnermedia Direct, Llc, Alphabet Inc (Google, Youtube), Microsoft Corporation, Roku, Inc, Indieflix Gropu Inc., home box office, Tencent Considered in this report • Geography: Middle East & Africa • Historic year: 2017 • Base year: 2022 • Estimated year: 2023 • Forecast year: 2028 Aspects covered in this report • Middle East & Africa Over The Top (OTT) market with its value and forecast along with its segments • Country-wise Over The Top (OTT) market analysis • Various drivers and challenges • On-going trends and developments • Top profiled companies • Strategic recommendation Countries covered in the report: • UAE • Saudi Arabia • South Africa By Type: • AVOD (Advertising-based Video On Demand) • SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) • TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand) • Others By Device Type: • Smartphones and Tablets • Desktops and Laptops • Smart TVs & Set-Top Box • Gaming Consoles & Streaming Devices By Content Type: • Video Streaming • Game Streaming • Audio Streaming • Communication By Service Verticals: • Media and Entertainment • Education and Learning • Gaming • Service Utilities By User Type: • Personal • Commercial By Component Type: • Solution • Services The approach of the report: This report consists of a combined approach of primary as well as secondary research. Initially, secondary research was used to get an understanding of the market and list out the companies that are present in the market. The secondary research consists of third-party sources such as press releases, and annual reports of companies, analyzing the government-generated reports and databases. After gathering the data from secondary sources primary research was conducted by making telephonic interviews with the leading players about how the market is functioning and then conducting trade calls with dealers and distributors of the market. Post this we have started doing primary calls to consumers by equally segmenting consumers into regional aspects, tier aspects, age groups, and gender. Once we have primary data with us we started verifying the details obtained from secondary sources. Intended audience This report can be useful to industry consultants, manufacturers, suppliers, associations & organizations related to the Over The Top (OTT) industry, government bodies, and other stakeholders to align their market-centric strategies. In addition to marketing & presentations, it will also increase competitive knowledge about the industry.
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