IHS: Pay TV booming in Middle East & North Africa

According to IHS Markit, the pay TV market in the Middle East and North Africa is the fastest-growing region in the world, and has surpassed five million households for the first time.

Statistics shared by research analyst IHS indicate that the pay TV market in the Middle East and North Africa experienced record growth in 2016 despite the harsh economic climate.

Figures for the region show growth of 8% year-on-year, with revenue rising 15% to $2.27 (£1.82) billion thanks to double digit growth year-on-year.

“The Middle East and North Africa region is one of the fastest growing regions for pay TV, in both subscriber numbers and revenues,” commented Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, senior analyst at IHS Markit.

“The launch of services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime is fuelling the market and is a good sign for further growth.”

HIS Markit predicts the number of pay TV homes could reach 7 million by and revenue will almost double to $4.03 (£3.2) billion in 2021.

Two satellite operators, beIN Media Group and OSN – directly competing against each other for the first full year this year – dominate the market controlling over 60% of subscribers and over 55% of revenues over the last seven years.

Subscription services drive growth

Total online video market revenues in the Middle East and North Africa region stood at $500 (£401) million in 2016, a year-on-year growth of 51% from 2015.

Going forward, IHS says subscription video will drive revenue growth. “Subscription services in the region saw 137% growth in 2016, spurred by the launch of Netflix and strong performance from local players,” stated Papavassilopoulos. Subscription accounted for over 30% of the total online video market in 2016, and is expected to contribute 45% of total market revenues by 2020.

IHS Markit expects total online video revenues to grow by more than $1.5(£1.2) billion by 2020.

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