Disney+ launched its streaming service in the Middle East and North Africa on Wednesday, aiming for market share in a region where the population is young but few people use such services.
Disney+ announced that it had launched in 16 Arab countries and was resources and capabilities for the region, including Arabic subtitles on most of its offers, especially popular content.
According to Digital TV Research, Netflix currently has more than 6.8 million customers in the region. even with little under 2 million, Starzplay, an Abu Dhabi-based competitor, comes in second, followed by Amazon with 1.4 million.
Some of its rivals provide original Arabic content. Netflix is already working on the second seasons of “Al Rawabi School for Girls” and “Finding Ola,” two of its most popular shows.
Shahid, the streaming platform of the MBC Group, has ordered an Arabic version of the British sitcom “The Office.” OSN, a regional competitor, features an Arabic version of the American legal drama “Suits.”
Disney+ original content was originally available on OSN.
Starzplay‘s CEO Maaz Sheikh that the company is working on original Arabic content. Because streaming penetration in the region was only 10%, he claimed there was lots of space for expansion.
According to Digital TV Research, Netflix’s subscriber base will rise to 11 million by 2027, with Disney+ coming in second with almost 6.5 million. By 2027, Amazon is expected to have 4.8 million members, while Starzplay will have just under 3 million.
“In my opinion, Disney+ is entering the Middle East and North Africa region at a great time. Compared to other streaming markets, ours is still in early stages and we have the unique opportunity to grow along with it,” Tamim Fares, Disney+ director for the region stated in an email.
Mohamed Diab, the Egyptian director of Marvel Studios’ “Moon Knight,” was promoting the original superhero series, which is making its regional debut, at a Disney+ pre-launch event at Dubai Opera.
Sarah Goher, his wife, worked as a producer on the series, which is based on ancient Egyptian gods.