Dubai-based pay-TV and streaming service, OSN, has been making strides in the Middle East’s competitive premium TV market, despite facing challenges from the launch of Disney+ in the region.
While OSN experienced a setback when Disney pulled out its premium content to start a standalone platform, platform remains a leading outlet for prime Hollywood scripted fare in 22 territories across the Middle East and North Africa.
OSN CEO Joe Kawkabani shared insights on the past year’s progress and the company’s efforts to strengthen ties with other Hollywood studios. Kawkabani noted an increase in subscribers, with studies indicating that OSN is one of the top three services in the region in terms of awareness and propensity to buy. The engagement on the platform has seen a significant 40% increase in hours viewed over the last 12 months, indicating positive growth trends.
Kawkabani highlighted the thriving business of streamer, driven by both streaming and linear TV services. The company rebranded its linear air business as OSN TV and introduced a new box for accessing content without satellite or cables. The streaming side of the business is experiencing the majority of subscriber growth.
Despite losing exclusive rights to Disney content, streamer maintains a strong position with its Western content offerings and ongoing partnerships with other major studios. Kawkabani highlighted the extended relationship with Warner Bros. Discovery, securing exclusive rights to HBO content such as “Succession” in the region.
OSN has also retained exclusive rights to Paramount+ shows, as well as expanding their partnership with ITV Studios in the U.K. These agreements solidify OSN’s position as a platform for premium Western content in the region.
Kawkabani also mentioned the success of popular shows on platform, including “Game of Thrones,” “House of the Dragon,” “The Last of Us,” and the latest season of “Succession.”