• OSN's proposition to deliver premium content first and exclusively contributes to industry leadership
• Positive growth outlook for 2013 underlined by launch of 5 new channels including 2 new OSN Arabic HD channels
• OSN to expand retail presence by 20%; enters growth markets Libya and Qatar
• OSN Play, the region's first digital TV platform, expands rapidly with launch on smart phones soon
• Rewards programme OSN Privileges records 20% increase in subscriber engagement month on month
Dubai, UAE; May 7, 2013: OSN, the leading pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa, recorded more than 30 percent subscriber growth in 2012 and similar growth levels are expected this year. Bringing exclusive content first to the region, OSN's robust growth was also led by the launch of several industry leading innovations including OSN Play, the region's first digital TV platform.
David Butorac, CEO of OSN said: “The strong growth recorded in 2012 is a clear testament to the success of our compelling content offering, advanced digital innovations and our focus on leveraging the reach of the internet to offer customers more control, choice, content and convenience. OSN's success is also fuelled by our steadfast commitment to invest in the latest technology to deliver the widest choice of premium and exclusive entertainment that reflects the varied preferences of viewers across the region.”
He added: “Our goal for 2013, which has already started yielding results, is to sustain the growth momentum by enhancing our retail presence, providing more premium English and Arabic content and expanding the OSN HD line-up. We will also strengthen our OSN Play and OSN Plus HD digital services, which are a perfect fit to the changing requirements of the region that has a high and growing penetration of Internet.
“These innovative services have made television even more accessible, providing customers the convenience of watching their favourite programmes anytime, anywhere.”
OSN recorded the highest growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at 35 percent, underlining the strong inroads made in the fast-growing market. OSN's current retail network spans over 420 touch points across the region and significant investments are being made by OSN to expand its presence by 20 percent this year, particularly in Saudi Arabia. The network is also focused on strengthening its presence in new growth markets including Qatar and Libya.
Highlighting its demonstrated market leadership, OSN has the region's largest number of HD channels at 36, which helped drive the subscriber base across all key markets. Offering an unparalleled entertainment experience, OSN is sustaining its growth momentum with five new channels, already launched in January this year, including two OSN Arabic HD channels.
Building its unique value proposition through a focus on premium content, OSN works with regional production houses to create original and fresh Arabic concepts. This has helped boost subscriptions, particularly, in markets such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The network's investment and partnerships with local production houses will add more regional flavour with innovative programming such as the Discover KSA Season 2 documentary series and Loubat Al Shaitan, the first Saudi action thriller series. Further consolidating its leadership in providing premium Arabic content, OSN has introduced a special primetime that telecasts the latest Arabic films within two weeks of their theatrical release, and has the biggest library of Arabic and Turkish series.
Underscoring its unmatched content, OSN guarantees viewers a line-up of the biggest and latest movies and series from Hollywood and beyond through the network's exclusive deals with all seven major studios - Warner Brothers, Paramount, Fox, Disney, Sony, MGM and Universal. In 2012, OSN telecast 98 percent of the Top 100 box office hits, a trend that is set to continue in 2013, with a scheduled line-up of over 900 exclusive premieres, most of them reaching its viewers within three months of the films' theatrical release.
The value of the films telecast by OSN translates to over a billion dollars in box office receipts per month. Home to exclusive HBO content, OSN will also telecast over 40 new shows and 50 new seasons this year – several airing at the same time as the U.S. - demonstrating its compelling content strength.
Last year, OSN's initiatives to bring the excitement of the London Olympics and the Paralympics also strengthened customer engagement, with subscriber numbers recording a strong increase during prime sporting events. In the coming months, OSN will telecast the 2013 Lions Tour live and exclusive; bringing all the excitement of the much-anticipated return of the British & Irish Lions to Australia for a series that has been 12 years in the making. Also lined up in the sports entertainment bouquet this year is the Double Ashes and Champions League cricket series, the Rugby Championships and PGA tour, to name a few.
OSN's growth is further stimulated by the rising popularity of OSN Play, launched in March 2012, available absolutely free for subscribers. Providing exclusive content, sports fans were able to enjoy coverage of the London Olympics through 10-live streaming channels, which boosted subscriber viewership. With Internet penetration of over 40 percent, higher than the world average of 34 percent, OSN Play is witnessing significant growth and popularity. OSN's online TV viewing platform is already available on multiple devices featuring advanced functionality and will soon be launched on smart phones.
OSN also made significant investments to develop and launch OSN Plus HD, the region's first 3D, HD, Internet enabled satellite receiver and recorder. With a terabyte storage capacity and an Ethernet and a satellite connection, viewers get access to a vast library of on-demand content at the touch of a button. OSN Plus HD, like OSN Play, gives viewers more control over their viewing experience so they can watch what they want when they want. Launched in September 2012, OSN Plus HD recorded strong subscriber interest with over 40,000 boxes deployed in the first few months itself. Version 2 of OSN Plus HD will be launched soon.
Another key driver of OSN's growth is its rewards programme, OSN Privileges, aimed at enhancing customer interaction with the brand and providing more value to subscribers. The initiative is witnessing a 20 percent increase in subscriber engagement month on month, strengthening customer lifetime value.
“OSN's market leadership is led by strategic initiatives that not only deliver cutting edge television but also support the region's entertainment industry by promoting local talent and offering new platforms for growth. They key is to continually adapt and provide more choice to the customer,” concluded Butorac.