Starz Play is also number one in the region in terms of revenue, holding 28%, followed by Netflix at 21%. Starz Play sees its subscribers split fairly equal between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC countries, with 30% of sign-ups coming from the Saudi Kingdom. The GCC consist of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the IHS Markit study, the CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of online video subscriptions between 2013 and 2022 is predicted to be 64.2%. In comparison, the pay TV market is estimated to grow at a much lower rate of 6.1%. During this time, OTT subscriptions are expected to rise above five million.
“We launched Starz Play in April 2015, and since then we have watched it grow from a startup with an inaugural team of just 15 to an industry-leader employing 100 extremely talented individuals. It is an honour to celebrate our third anniversary with each and every one of the team members,” said Maaz Sheikh, CEO and Co-Founder of Starz Play.
“Starz Play deserves the leading seat in 2017 in both subscriptions (with 26% share of the market) and revenues (with 28% share of the market) as it had successfully implemented a strategy focusing on partnerships with telcos and pay TV operators, on a pricing regime that varied depending on the region,” added Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, Principal Research Analyst at IHS Markit.
He noted that Starz Play may have benefitted from being one of the SVOD services to enter the market, as well as its range of deals with telecom operators including Etisalat, du, Saudi Telecom Group, Ooredoo Group, Orange Jordan, Orange Egypt and Orange Morocco.