Zain and iflix, an Internet TV service provider for emerging markets, have established a joint venture, ‘iflix Arabia’ to bring iflix’s services to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
iflix Arabia, will be headquartered in Dubai and trade commercially as “iflix”, adding Zain’s territories of operation to iflix’s global footprint, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, with the potential to further extend into additional regional markets.
Bader Al Kharafi, vice chairman of Zain Group said: “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.”
“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,” said Scott Gegenheimer, group CEO of Zain.
The commercial launch of iflix’s Internet TV service across the MENA region is planned for the second quarter of 2017. The service will additionally offer an extensive collection of highly acclaimed Arabic shows and movies alongwith the best of Hollywood, Bollywood, regional and local programs, as well as over 2,000 episodes of children’s content. iflix Arabia is also planning to introduce exclusive Arabic content series.
iflix first launched its service in May 2015, and rolled out to nine markets in less than two years. iflix Arabia plans to capitalise on the MENA’s large youth population, rapidly growing internet and smartphone penetration, and huge appetite for digital content and entertainment. The JV will leverage Zain’s 47 million customers as well as the learning acquired from the consolidation of iflix across Asia.
iflix co-founder and group CEO, Mark Britt believes this collaboration represents an ‘exciting step in iflix’s growth story’ as it launches in the MENA region with a partner who shares its vision and commitment to deliver an outstanding service and a great awesome experience for customers.
John-Paul McKerlie, CEO of iflix Arabia added: “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.”
Each subscription of iflix allows users to access the service on up to five devices. Subscribers can also download TV shows and movies for offline viewing.
The creation of ‘iflix Arabia’ builds on the establishment of the Zain Digital Frontier and Innovation (ZDFI) business unit in 2014, which is charged with launching Zain into the digital space and the view to growing the company through new innovative business streams.