Pay TV market growth in Middle East and North Africa

pay TV market in the Middle East and North AfricaResearch agency IHS Markit has revealed the growth in the pay TV market in the Middle East and North Africa.

Pay TV households topped the five million mark (+8 percent) for the first time in the region’s history. Revenues from Pay TV business rose 15 percent to $2.27 billion.

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“The Middle East and North Africa region is one of the fastest growing regions for pay TV, in both subscriber numbers and revenues,” said Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, senior analyst at IHS Markit. “The launch of services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime is fueling the market and is a good sign for further growth.”

IHS Markit expects that pay TV homes will be reaching seven million in 2021, while revenues will almost double to $4.03 billion in 2021.

Two satellite operators, beIN Media Group and OSN, dominate the market controlling over 60 percent of subscribers and over 55 percent of revenues for the last seven years. 2016 marks the first full year that beIN Media Group and OSN competed directly against each other.

Total online video market revenues in the Middle East and North Africa region stood at $500 million (+51 percent) in 2016.

Advertising remains the most successful business model for monetising online video – representing over 65 percent of total revenue in 2016. Countries such as Saudi Arabia are second only to the US in terms of time spent per person watching videos on YouTube.

Subscription business model will gain ground in MENA region at the expense of advertising, with almost half of total online video revenues coming from online subscription services by 2020, said IHS Markit.

Subscription video will drive revenue growth. Subscription services in the region saw 137 percent growth in 2016, spurred by the launch of Netflix and strong performance from local players.

Subscription accounted for over 30 percent of the total online video market in 2016, and is expected to contribute 45 percent of total market revenues by 2020. Total online video revenues will grow by more than $1.5 billion by 2020.