The Middle East Media and Entertainment Market size is expected to grow from USD 39.05 billion in 2023 to USD 61.23 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 9.41% during the forecast period (2023-2028).
The media and entertainment industry of the region is undergoing significant transformation. Cultural shifts among the region's young people have spawned considerable traction, and untapped demand for local Arabic content will spur regional media to grow considerably.
- 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 2021, 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.
- The increasing penetration of mobile internet services further supports the studied market's growth. For instance, according to GSMA, in 2021, the number of mobile internet users in MENA exceeded 300 million, with penetration expected to reach 50% of the population by the end of 2022.
- Social media usage has also been growing across Saudi Arabia, a trend of interest to agencies, brands, and media companies alike for advertisements. For instance, according to the World Association of News Publishers, people in the MENA region spend a lot of time on social media, averaging about 3.5 hours a day, across platforms.
- Moreover, paid and digital media evolutions have created new rationales for investments. These changes give regional media players a chance to reset their business models, explore investments in high-quality local content, and offer global players, in particular, a reason to re-evaluate their presence in the region.
- Furthermore, the new pay-tv and OTT players are increasingly populating the market dominated by free-to-air, direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting until now. GCC countries are significantly investing in upgrading technology due to various nations' broadband initiatives to support OTT platforms. An increasing number of broadcasting networks such as influx, Starz Play, Istikana, and Netflix, operating globally and locally, offer subscription-based VOD services for viewers in the region.
- However, the region is relatively more restricted compared to other parts of the world. It's still traditionally set up as carriage-only deals, which means broadcasters and operators do not have the full freedom to optimize revenues from areas such as creativity in terms of content creation and ad insertion.
- Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the media and entertainment industry in the region suffered significantly. Although the consumption of media and entertainment content in digital mediums witnessed an upward trend as people were spending more time at home. However, the restriction on outdoor activities significantly impacted the business of a section of the media & entertainment industry, such as movie theaters.
Middle East Media & Entertainment Market Trends
SVOD to Witness the Market Growth
- The use of a full collection of content is made possible via subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), which charges a set subscription fee, usually once per month. This business model is similar to an "all-you-can-eat" buffet where subscribers have access to an endless amount of ad-free content.
- The greatest portion of the OTT business, SVOD now ranks as the most lucrative monetization strategy. The SVOD model is used by the top OTT providers, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and newcomers like Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, etc.
- Telecom companies have introduced a solution that provides information regarding the amount of data used while streaming video over a mobile network. For instance, Vodacom introduced Video Play Time, Video Play Time bundles, a unique, world-first solution that takes the guesswork out of data usage when streaming video over a mobile network and aids customers in utilizing their data effectively.
- Subscribers to Apple TV channels can watch on-demand content online or download their favorite shows for offline viewing on the Apple TV app. Up to six friends or family members can share Apple TV channel subscriptions through Family Sharing by using just their Apple ID and password. It is anticipated that by including such perks in the subscription, more consumers will choose the service, increasing market share for SVOD providers like STARZPLAY.
Saudi Arabia to Hold Significant Market Share
- Digital formats are widely used in Saudi Arabia for media consumption. Users now have the opportunity to access the media material of their choosing thanks to the increase in the number of devices that can handle OTT platforms and digital media, as well as faster internet access. The nation's media consumption has dramatically increased and shifted from traditional media to digital media. The expansion of this industry is fueled by the emergence of OTT and digital media companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Intigral, among others.
- As customers want to gain a true sense of movies through home theatre and other audio systems as their inclination to watch movies through OTT platforms grows, this will help the market sector under study grow over the coming years.
- The growth of the internet uasge has had a disruptive effect on the channels used for digital media distribution and consumption. The nation's data usage has increased as a result of enhanced network coverage and cutting-edge communication technology (5G/LTE).
- Through Jawwy TV and Dawri Plus, the Saudi public has some key options for the digital entertainment generation. These digital media products cater to a large millennial user base and offer welcoming user interfaces and distinctive digital content that is accessible via numerous platforms. In the upcoming years, these people are searching for enriched entertainment content that is easily available.
- By supporting the country's entertainment sector's growth, digital media content players are considered a major pillar of the Vision 2030 plan of Saudi Arabia, which will eventually contribute to building a knowledge-based economy.
Middle East Media & Entertainment Industry Overview
The Middle East Media and Entertainment Market is highly competitive, with the presence of significant regional and international players. During the anticipated time frame, the industry will likely experience growth, which will likely increase competition. The market has a discernible degree of consolidation because just a small number of firms control a sizable portion. Arab Media Group, Abu Dhabi Media, Orbit Showtime Network, and Intigral Inc. are a few of the key companies active in the business.
In April 2023, the Authority of Social Contribution Ma'an created a new mobile app, Abu Dhabi MAAN, which can be downloaded on both Apple and Android smartphones. The app allows contributors to swiftly and simply make their pledges to their preferred projects. It is a part of the Abu Dhabi Gives Back initiative, which calls on the Abu Dhabi community to dig deep during Ramadan and create a lasting social effect by assisting social goals that are most consistent with their priorities and values.
In March 2023 - OSN announced that it had strengthened its market-leading position with its unbeatable range of programming and best-in-class offerings by extending and expanding its partnership with Warner Brosa with a multi-year licensing agreement. Discovery with a number of components, including an exclusive licensing agreement with HBO, establishing OSN as the only home for HBO programming throughout the MENA region.
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