Netflix Driving SVOD Growth in Middle East, North Africa

Netflix may be a mature business in the United States, but worldwide, the SVOD pioneer remains a driving force for subscription streaming video — especially in the Middle East and Africa.

New data from Digital TV Research estimates that by 2025, SVOD revenue in the Middle East and North Africa will reach $2.97 billion — up from $897 million in 2019. SVOD revenue will triple between 2019 and 2025. Turkey will total to $908 million by 2025, with Saudi Arabia adding $563 million and Israel $470 million.

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Netflix will generate 38% of the 2025 total (with its subscriber base doubling from 2019), followed by Lionsgate’s StarzPlay (23%) and Disney+ (11%, despite only starting in its first Arabic country in 2022). These three platforms will generate three-quarters of the Arab total by 2025.

Indeed, of Netflix’s 8.8 million net new subscribers in the fourth quarter 2019, more than half originated outside the U.S.

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“We forecast 29.63 million SVOD subscriptions by 2025, up from 12.25 million recorded at end-2019,” Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said in a statement. “Collectively, the 13 Arabic-speaking countries will overtake Turkey’s subscriber count in 2025.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that Europe, the Middle East and Africa had 47.4 million Netflix subs as of Sept. 30, compared with 19.7 million March 31, 2017. Revenue during that same time period grew to $4 billion.

Netflix ended 2019 with 167 million subscribers worldwide.

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