FAST in MENA - March 2023
The Streaming Lab #43
Hey streamers 👋
Welcome to the 43rd edition of The Streaming Lab. Thanks for reading me!
You can read all the previous editions here, and subscribe below to get the newsletter every Monday.
Whenever you’re ready, there are many ways I can help you:
Promote your company by sponsoring this newsletter [NEW]
Work with me 1:1 to diversify your streaming revenues
Join 35+ companies using the market report STREAMING in MENA [2023 EDITION]
Register your interest for the upcoming report STREAMING in INDIA
Read all the previous editions of The Streaming Lab
The agenda today
Welcome to the third FAST in MENA update of the year. And it comes with new services and channels, what more can you ask for?
The FAST channels in MENA
Shahid created a FAST channel to promote content during Ramadan: Ramadan Maana.
The pitch: “Your fast lane to catch the hottest promos from the most exciting Ramadan shows. Get ready to feast your eyes on thrilling dramas, hilarious comedies, and much more. Join the entertainment ride and don't miss out on the fun!”
Every week, free episodes will be available. Stay tuned.
We also welcome to the region the first international FAST platform, Distro TV: A free streaming service with over 100 channels featuring shows & movies from the US, Canada, UK, India and all around the world.
Do you want to report any new FAST channels in MENA? Answer this email and let The Streaming Lab community know.
The FAST channels in MENA
Here’s the updated number of FAST channels available on MENA services. As a reminder, I consider a FAST channel any streaming linear programming available for free to consumers, with commercials.
My main observations:
Shahid Added 6 new FAST channels on its Live TV section: Shahid Ramadan Maana, Shahid Just For Laughs, Shahid Al Sadma, Shahid Al Asouf, Shahid Min Al Sifr and Shahid Ramadan Cooking. I also noticed MBC streaming service removed its FAST channel focused on Formula 1. Let’s see if it’s coming back next month, or not.
The newcomer DistroTV already offers an impressive lineup of 186 FAST channels. However, it doesn’t look like the service localised its channels offering for the MENA region yet. And most of the channels don’t have any commercials for now.
YuppTV offers today 53 channels that we can consider as “FAST”. However, most of them are still local News TV channels available in local languages.
Nothing to report coming from the other services.
Last month, I asked myself 6 questions. I can now answer some of them:
Is Shahid going to distribute FAST channels coming from third-party providers?
Shahid’s strategy is to create FAST channels with content coming from their existing library, like the channels Nadine Njeim, The Pit, Tash, WWE, Nasser Al Qassaby, Arous Beirut, etc. They also started sourcing content to create specific channels like Just For Laughs. But it seems they don’t accept FAST channels coming from third-party providers yet.
Is Weyyak open to receive FAST channels from other providers?
Weyyak only accepted FAST channels from 1 third-party FAST provider for now. I’m sure we’ll see more channels coming from several sources soon.
Can we expect major local SVOD services to pivot to hybrid models: AVOD + SVOD or Ad-supported SVOD?
Yes, and the right question is WHEN?
When should we see the first international FAST platform available in MENA?
DistroTV is the first international paltform to open its service in the MENA region. The others will follow in the coming months.
Are Samsung and the other manufacturers aware of the massive opportunity in the region?
LG launched connected TV advertising in MENA with a local partner, but it looks like it’s limited to the following ad units:
Carousel Video & Secondary Ads
Home Screen & Halo Ads
Home Screen Wedge Ads
LG Content Ad Store
Carousel Banner & Secondary Ads
Carousel Companion & Secondary Ads
We could expect Samsung TV+ to open its FAST service in MENA end of 2023, beginning of 2024.
What are your questions?
That’s all for today, the state of FAST in MENA in March 2023.
See you online next week. Until then, enjoy the Tata Indian Premier League 2023 on Noon, starting on 31st March. And if you’re interested in promoting your brand on the largest mobile user reach in the region, just contact me!