SVOD Revenue Across Mideast, North Africa to Triple by 2025: Study

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Netlix CEO Reed Hastings

The subscription video-on-demand market is set to grow by more than $2.1 billion in the region, with Netflix subscriber figures more than doubling to 10 million, according to Digital TV Research.

The market for subscription video-on-demand, or SVOD, will nearly triple across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the next five years, growing some $2.1 billion, according to a newly published study by British-based Digital TV Research.

The study, released Monday, found SVOD revenues in the MENA region would grow from less than $1 billion today to $2.97 billion by 2025 as Netflix and other SVOD platforms increase their investment in the fast-growing region.

The report predicts that Turkey will generate $908 million in SVOD revenues by 2025, with Saudi Arabia adding $563 million and Israel $470 million. The forecast expects SVOD subscribers to top 29.63 million by 2025, up from the 12.25 million recorded at the end of last year.

Market-leader Netflix is set to benefit most from the projected growth, with Digital TV Research expecting it to more than double its subscriber base from 4 million to 10.17 million and account for 38 percent of all SVOD subscriptions in the region. StarzPlay, a subscriber service owned by Lionsgate which is strong in the MENA, is forecast to more than double its SVOD customers to some 3 million by 2025, accounting for 23 percent of the market. Disney+, the studio's new SVOD platform, will score 3 million new subscribers, or 11 percent of the market, over the next five years, the report forecasts.

Netflix has been targeting the MENA region for some time now, greenlighting several big-budget scripted series from the Mideast, including the Arabic horror series Paranormal, Jordanian YA dramas Jinn and the Al Rawabi School for Girls. The streamer has also ordered stand-up comedy specials featuring local talent.

The Mideast and Northern Africa were two of the international regions that helped Netflix beat investor predictions and boost subscriber numbers by 20 percent to 167 million worldwide. With some 400 million potential viewers and a dearth of original local content, the Middle East in particular is considered a vast potential market.