Zain, iflix to launch regional Internet TV service

17 February 2017

Digital Content

Zain, a leading mobile and data services operator listed in Kuwait, has joined hands with leading Internet TV service group iflix to launch its operations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The new joint venture, iflix Arabia, will be headquartered in Dubai and trade commercially as “iflix”, adding Zain’s territories of operation to its global footprint, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, with the potential to further extend into additional regional markets.

Announcing the new venture, Zain said the commercial launch of iflix’s Internet TV service across the Mena region is planned for the second quarter of 2017, at which time iflix Arabia will offer consumers across the region and Zain mobile customers its extensive range of thousands of TV shows, movies and more with Arabic and English subtitles, including many first run exclusives and award-winning programs.

In addition to having the best of Hollywood, Bollywood, regional and local programs, as well as over 2,000 episodes of children’s content, the service will additionally offer an extensive collection of highly acclaimed Arabic shows and movies with iflix Arabia planning to introduce exclusive Arabic content series.

Having first launched its service in May 2015, iflix quickly established its dominance in the Asian region, rolling out its service to nine markets in less than two years, acquiring over 4 million members over the period.

With Zain’s 47 million customers, the joint venture will benefit from and leverage the mobile operator’s established market leadership in conjunction with learnings iflix acquired in consolidating its dominance throughout Asia.

The new venture will capitalise on the Mena region’s large youth population, rapidly growing internet and smartphone penetration, and huge appetite for digital content and entertainment.

Bader Al Kharafi, “The establishment of the joint venture ‘iflix Arabia’ instantly creates enormous value for both Zain and iflix stakeholders, given the synergies created and the new revenue streams that will be generated by the expected takeup of this appealing internet TV service from the general public and Zain customers. This is a monumental step forward for Zain in our journey to become the premier digital lifestyle provider in the MENA region.”

Scott Gegenheimer, Group CEO of Zain, said: “iflix has done an exceptional job in spearheading the entertainment revolution in Asia and truly has an industry leading product. What distinguishes iflix is its constant innovation and commitment to offering its customers an exceptional and entertaining digital experience, which is at the heart of what Zain stands for."

"We look forward to bringing our 47m customers and regional mobile operations into the iflix footprint," he noted.

The iflix co-founder and Group CEO, Mark Britt said the collaboration represents an exciting step in iflix’s growth story as it launches in the region with a partner who shares its vision and commitment to deliver an outstanding service and create awesome experiences for customers.”

John-Paul McKerlie, CEO of iflix Arabia, said:"The teaming of Zain and iflix has empowered both businesses with the capacity to offer customers the most incredible content services. A great mix of local and international catalogues will reach audiences using Zain’s leading networks, guaranteeing the best speeds for streaming and user experience, bringing even more content to customers and enhancing their viewing experience."

"We are very excited about the launch and what it means for our customers and shareholders in the future," he noted.

According to him, iflix’s propriety compression and adaptive bit rate technology further ensures that users have a great viewing experience, by enabling the service to stream smoothly on low internet speeds.

"Each subscription allows users to access the service on up to five devices, including phones, laptops, tablets, and television sets, for viewing wherever, whenever. A special feature for iflix subscribers is that they can also download TV shows and movies from iflix’s extensive catalogue for offline viewing," he added.

Source: Trade Arabia 15 February 2017