International over-the-top TV revenues are set for a massive increase in the coming years. A new report from Digital TV Research indicates OTT revenues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in particular will increase exponentially, quadrupling from $428 million last year to $1.75 billion in 2022.
The forecast indicates Netflix will lead the charge, becoming the largest pan-regional SVOD platform within that timeframe, with an expected 3.26 million paying subscribers. That bump will contribute to Netflix’s ongoing international growth, which pushed the company’s international subscriber figure (52.03 million) above that of domestic customers (51.92 million) in the most recent quarter. More on that here.
Netflix will be joined by Amazon Prime Video, Icflix, Starz Play, Iflix, and Shahis Plus to make up the top six platforms in the region. Together, those companies will account for 39 percent of MENA SVOD subscribers by the end of 2022, the report notes. Icflix is expected to hit 2 million subscribers by 2022, while Starz Play will add 1.6 million in the forecast period.
Digital TV Research Principal Analyst Simon Murray says SVOD providers have a lot to gain through partnerships with operators, and points to collaborations in MENA as a good example.
“A handful of mobile operators such as Orange, Zain, Ooredoo, Etisalat, and Vodafone have assets across several countries. SVOD platforms can gain considerable economies of scale by signing distribution deals with mobile operators,” he notes. “Deals between mobile operators and SVOD platforms are already prevalent in the Middle East and North Africa – offering an example for the rest of the world to follow.”