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How has the evolving media landscape shaped the demands of modern viewers?
Melek: The evolving media landscape has introduced connectivity and new forms of entertainment, creating a rich yet fast-paced environment for viewers. With an abundance of content options, viewers now have limited time and less tolerance for latency or ordinary experiences. They seek better presentation, ideally curated for them through personalisation and recommendation.
Viewers desire easier access to what they are looking for, whether through accidental discovery or new capabilities that cater to their preferences. Quality and uniqueness of content have become more important, striking a balance between the comfort of the familiar and the excitement of discovery.
Share with us the top trends in the media and entertainment industry.
Melek: Personalisation and localisation are at the core of our industry. With increasing data volumes and improved accessibility, the industry has the power to serve viewers with the most relevant content. Analytical capabilities supported by data and artificial intelligence allow us to cater to individual preferences.
As our content library expands, we strive for clarity to determine what performs best. Aggregation is another significant trend, addressing the cluttered and fragmented propositions in the media space.
Viewers often need to switch between devices and environments, and aggregation provides a convenient solution by offering a centralised platform that brings richness and convenience. Personalisation and content discovery play crucial roles in helping consumers navigate this landscape.
Tell us about your latest offering. What upgrades has OSN announced for its home product, OSNtv?
Melek: Our latest offering, OSNtv, is not just dishless; it provides the best of both the linear and on-demand worlds, all through a convenient plug-and-play solution. With OSNtv, viewers gain control over their TV experience, ensuring they never miss a moment on TV or in life. We have eliminated the constraints of TV schedules by introducing features such as a seven-day reverse EPG, allowing access to content from the past week.
Additionally, Restart TV enables viewers to start a show from the beginning, regardless of when they tune in. These enhancements create more opportunities for customers to enjoy content individually or with their families.
Moreover, OSNtv incorporates OSN+, which allows viewers to take their content anywhere and enjoy it on multiple screens. The platform offers a unified experience by bringing together favorite channels, OSN premium content, access to over 5,000 apps, and the flexibility to choose between satellite or IP delivery.
With 4K picture quality, Dolby Atmos sound, an intuitive UI, enhanced content discovery, and parental control elements, OSNtv caters to the diverse needs of viewers and provides a seamless entertainment experience.
What has been the growth of Arabic media content and Arabic viewership in the Middle East?
Grant: Generally speaking, there has been a massive increase in the production of Arabic media content, particularly TV series. This growth can be attributed to the growing demand from the audience for more relevant content.
As a result, both new and existing streaming services have responded by commissioning or acquiring content on a larger scale, although linear TV has also seen some growth, at a lesser extent.
Interestingly, there has also been a noticeable increase in production from lesser-known areas such as Iraq. Additionally, there has been a shift in the traditional Ramadan TV-centered release cycle, with a more year-round approach to key content launches emerging, which helps to retain customers throughout the year.
How does OSN plan content during holiday seasons? What is the strategy behind your programming?
Grant: OSN considers certain contextual programming choices to complement the data-driven choices. The editorial teams are aware of various holidays and calendar moments that may drive viewership. This includes increasing family-oriented content during holiday periods and featuring kids’ content during school holidays.
Additionally, we schedule spooky movies around Halloween in areas where there is an awareness of the holiday. When planning long-term content acquisition, we take these factors into consideration to ensure that there is new and relevant content available during key times, aligning with viewers’ interests and preferences.
Devrim Melek is the the senior vice president of strategy at OSN and Andy Grant is the VP Programming at OSN