By mena.tv l 30 March 2021
KIPCO’s investor presentation last week (24th March) positioned OSN’s streaming service as “among the top 3 players in MENA” with approximately 450,000 OTT subscribers - up from approximately 80,000 a year ago in Apr 2020. The group’s January 2021 board presentation reported streaming subscribers of approximately 300k, suggesting that OSN’s OTT base has increased by 50% (150,000) in the past 2 months.
OSN is referred to as “the largest pay-tv and on-demand video provider in MENA operating across multiple platforms” (DTH, IPTV, streaming and commercial distribution), with 1.2 million subscribers according to the March 2021 report, with over 400k subs in Saudi Arabia and over 350k subs in the UAE.
OSN made up 15% of KIPCO’s $1,852m revenue in the first 9 months of 2020 according to the January report. A straight-line projection of these numbers would position OSN’s annualised 2020 revenue at around $350-400m.
The report also mentions that OSN maintains exclusive contracts for 1st pay window on Pay-TV and SVOD with 7 Hollywood studios, although the studios in question are not named.
By 2018, OSN had grown to occupy two large buildings in Dubai Media City and several regional offices, with headcount peaking at around 2,500 employees. Since then the company has undergone a massive restructuring programme, resulting in a reduction of over 70% in staff numbers: the new, streamlined OSN now employs about 720 people (according to the March 2021 presentation). This number is more or less the same as Showtime’s staff numbers in 2008 prior to its merger with Orbit.
KIPCO’s January 2021 report states that the group now owns 88.3% of OSN.