MBC unveiled the all-new version of its video on demand (VOD) service, Shahid.
The refreshed VOD service from MBC will include premium quality diverse content, as well as additional content via regional and global partnerships.
Disney and Fox will be partnering with Shahid providing close to 3,000 hours of family entertainment. Also announced was a partnership with global music streaming platform Spotify.
MBC’s channels will also be included in the revamped Shahid, which include nine HD channels, streamed live, as well as a catch-up service.
Shahid Premieres will focus on first-look exclusives from the world of cinema and television, as some new series will, from now on, start their lifecycle on Shahid even before MBC channels.
Meanwhile Shahid Originals will focus on a variety of local and regional productions, set to include long-form content such as drama series, as well as short-from content, which both will be fully exclusively featured on Shahid.
The unveiling took place as part of an exclusive event held at the Dubai Opera in Downtown Dubai, attended by HH Sheikh Ahmad bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; HE Turki Alshabanah Saudi Minister of Media; MBC group chairman, Waleed Al-Ibrahim, MBC group general manager Ali Al-Hedeithy, newly appointed CEO, Marc Antoine d’Halluin; and top businessmen from the region, VIPs and celebrities from the world of entertainment and Arab media.
Saudi national Al-Ibrahim commented about the social and economic reforms in the Kingdom in his opening speech. Paying homage to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Al-Ibrahim said it “is something we have always dreamed of”. “It gives me great pride to witness this dream being finally realised. Today, it is almost apt that we face a new start for our group, albeit with a difference in objectives,” he added.
“As we look ahead, we strive to take control of our own narratives, showcasing our stories to the rest of the world through the very best in original films, series, and other media content, produced and marketed via MBC Studios,” he continued.
He also said that the group is “leveraging the pivotal moment the Kingdom is currently witnessing”, which includes expanding on the local and regional media content industry – and fostering talent as a key enabler.
d’Halluin demonstrated figures from the track-record of the company over the past decade. He said: “During the past 10 years, MBC has acquired and produced approximately 46,000 hours of Arabic-language entertainment content, valued at an estimated $1.3bn. This is broken down into 26,000 hours of media, entertainment and other content, plus 20,000 hours of television series, which includes about 600 dramas.”
The new group CEO outlined plans for the next two years stating that investments in its productions will increase. “We aim to substantially increase the size of our investment into drama productions, thus increasing them fourfold, of which the majority will be original and exclusive content. Shahid will certainly benefit from MBC's proven experience in investment and growth to provide the best and most diverse international digital media experience in the region.”
MBC is running a promotion offering discounts of up to 70% for the Shahid VIP subscription value, valid until the subscriber decides to cancel, or for life.
Several Middle Eastern stars appearing in Shahid’s upcoming brand-new content were in attendance during the launch event at the Dubai Opera.