Consumers in countries across the MENA region can now enjoy SVOD services, possibly at lower prices, from a new player, as Iflix launches its services in the region. Earlier in the year, Zain and iflix established their joint venture, ‘iflix Arabia’ to bring iflix’s service to the MENA market. The regional headquarters for Iflix Arabia is based in Dubai, UAE.
After first launching in Malaysia and the Philippines in mid-2015, iflix expanded into Myanmar, its tenth market in Asia region last month, and begins its MENA journey now. “Our launch in the Middle East and North Africa represents the incredible vision, hard work and sacrifice by everyone in the iflix team. To have grown from a small, but ambitious 20-person operation without a live service to launching a global business, in now our second region with eight new markets and 80 staff in MENA alone in less than two years, is a testament to that commitment,” said Mark Britt, iflix group co-founder and CEO.
“MENA is one of the fastest growing and most exciting online markets in the world with data savvy consumers who share a passion for entertainment. We are thrilled to make iflix's world class service, premier digital experience and the most comprehensive selection of content available to them, as part of our mission to redefine entertainment in emerging markets,” Britt added.
Each iflix subscription comes with unlimited access to iflix’s library of original productions, first-run exclusive shows, TV series, blockbuster movies, popular local and regional Arabic and Asian content, children’s programmes and more, as well as the ability to access the service simultaneously on five devices. Users will further be able to download the shows and movies on any device and can also share the subscription with family and friends.
Since it was set up two years ago, iflix has raised a total of $170 million from investors including MGM, Rupert Murdoch-affiliated broadcaster Sky and John Malone's Liberty Global, according to a report in CNNMoney.
In an interview with CNNMoney's Richard Quest, co-founder & chairman of iflix, Patrick Grove said: “The smartphone has become the primary entertainment device. So when I look at what we're doing ... we're not redefining TV, we're redefining mobile entertainment.” Possibly hinting at the competition with Netflix, he added: “I want to prove that people from this part of the world, we're smarter than people in Silicon Valley, we're as talented as people in Silicon Valley, we're as creative, we can execute ideas just as fast.”
Earlier this year, in an interesting turn of events, pre-eminent media executive and content strategist, Sean Carey joined as the chief content officer of iflix Group. Prior to this, he served as vice president, global television at Netflix.