FAST in MENA - October 2023
📈 A record breaking month of growth
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This article is the 10th edition of the FAST in MENA series. I can now analyze not only the number of channels available per platform but also their growth since the beginning of the year
What’s new in MENA?
The FAST channels in MENA - October 2023
Cross-channel distribution: The emerging strategy among MENA's local platforms
What’s new in MENA?
This month, I've observed 28 new FAST channels emerging from 6 platforms. For the MENA region, this is a significant surge, marking the highest growth since the start of the year. The breakdown by channel is as follows:
Shahid: +11 channels
Tarfeeh TV: +6 channels
Weeyak: +4 channels
El Shasha: +4 channels
Roya TV: +2 channels
Rotana: +1 channels
I'd like to present a new chart I've developed recently. Its purpose? To monitor the growth of FAST channels across various platforms ↓
As you can see, Shahid remains constantly one step ahead. They started creating their own FAST channels one year ago and can now focus on getting third-party channels. I assume their next objective would be to improve their monetization capabilities and distribute some of their own FAST channels to other local platforms of the region.
Roya TV, Weyyak, El Shasha, and Tarfeeh TV are leading the pack among the other FAST platforms with notable momentum. I anticipate they might continue producing and distributing FAST channels at this rate through the year's end. Stay tuned to this newsletter for updates in the coming months
The Fast Channels in MENA - October 2023
Here’s the updated number of FAST channels available on MENA local services in October 2023. As a reminder, I consider a FAST channel any streaming linear programming available for free to consumers, with commercials.
My main observations:
Shahid removed 8 channels from its existing portfolio, and added 11 new ones, including:
Spooky Tales: Get ready to sleep with the lights on tonight! This is where you will find the spookiest, most enticing Halloween movies of all time.
Asharq Discovery: Asharq Discovery offers programmes across different genres: pop science and engineering, crime and mystery, motoring, adventure and travel, food and cooking, wildlife and nature, lifestyle, and reality.
Al Arabiya Business: In its commitment to keep its audience informed about the world of business even in the toughest times, Al Arabiya is pleased to launch “Al Arabiya Business”.
Bollywood HD: Enjoy Bollywood’s biggest blockbusters back-to-back and stay tuned for exclusive news about the glamourous lives of its celebrities.
Ragel We Se Settat: It's one hilarious problem after another for Adel, who lives with his wife, daughter, mother, sister, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. Relive all 10 seasons of the long-running Egyptian sitcom.
The pure FAST platform keeps building its channel lineup and launched 6 new channels this month. Their strength? They are all local channels in Arabic.
Oyoun El Nass
Jar El Qamar
I interviewed Nadine Samra from Weyyak last month during a DICM Webinar, she mentioned Weyyak was about to launch new FAST channels. And she delivered! As you can see below, Weyyak launched 4 channels this month:
Jodha Akbar: Jodha Akbar is an epic drama about a sixteenth century story of the political marriage of convenience between a Mughal emperor Akbar and a Rajput princess Jodha Bai
Hayat Qalbi: The show discusses Brita and Shristi and their attempt to reunite with their mother which lead to their acquaintance with a rich family
Sayidat al Shasha: A channel dedicated to celebrating the art of Arab actresses in Arab cinema, which displays a collection of films by the late artist Faten Hamama
Dehek w Bas: Showcasing a collection of classic Arabic comedies from the golden era from Rotana Network's content library
The streaming TV service owned by Rotana launched 4 new channels this month, including 3 local ones:
Sayyidat Al Shasha HD
Dohk wa Bass
Cross-Channel Distribution: The Emerging Strategy Among MENA's Local Platforms
Cross content distribution between local streaming service in MENA is a topic I follow very closely. I dedicated an article about this trend several weeks ago:
Shifting focus back to FAST in MENA, a trend I've observed this month is the rising presence of local channels accessible across multiple FAST platforms. A few examples include:
Weyyak Nawaem, Weyyak Mix, Weyyak Action and Weyyak Drama are available on Awaan and Weyyak.
Sayidat al Shasha is available on El Shasha, Rotana and Weyyak.
Dehek w Bas is available on El Shasha, Roya TV and Weyyak.
Fashion TV is available on El Shasha and Shahid.
Roya TV is available on Roya TV and Shahid.
Adel Emam channel is available on Roya TV and Shahid.
Nadine Njeim on Roya TV and Shahid.
Al Haibah on Roya TV and Shahid.
Do you see other channels available on several platforms?
I’m not sure if Adel Emam channel, Nadine Njeim and Al Haibah come from the same provider or if each platforms created their own stitched channels with their library content available. The only way to know is to check the channels at a programming level. Looks like it’s my next mission ;)
In my perspective, the cross-channel distribution of local/Arabic FAST channels is pivotal for the expansion of FAST in the region. This approach appears to be the most effective means for a channel to reach its target audience, given the variety of platforms throughout the MENA region
We should expect to see an increasing number of third-party channels available on multiple platforms simultaneously. It's evident that their performance will vary across these platforms, which is what makes the FAST model intriguing. For FAST platforms, the next six months will be a critical period for testing, learning, and determining the viability of this model in the MENA region.
That’s all for today, the state of FAST in MENA in October 2023. If you enjoyed this breakdown, please consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues.
I hope everyone has a great week, see you online next Monday. Until then, enjoy Life On Our Planet on Netflix MENA. Life's extraordinary journey to conquer, adapt and survive on Earth across billions of years comes alive in this groundbreaking nature docuseries.
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