Viacom bullish on MENA growth

Regional EVP cites population growth and new platforms as reasons for optimism
Raffaele Annechino, the company’s EVP for South Europe, Middle East & Africa.
Raffaele Annechino, the company’s EVP for South Europe, Middle East & Africa.

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A fast growing young population and new distribution platforms will benefit Viacom, the entertainment and content giant, in the MENA region, according to Raffaele Annechino, the company’s EVP for South Europe, Middle East & Africa.

The company, which currently has three channels - Nickelodeon, Nickelodeon Junior, MTV Live - available in the Middle East, is looking to grow its presence in the region.

“We’re very glad that we made the first step of the calibration of our international brand with the launch of Nickelodeon with OSN,” Annechino told Digital Studio. “I think it is a first step because it is a region where we foresee many opportunities on new channel launches.”

He added that Viacom was also looking at opportunities to bring its brands “closer to our consumers”. “We are launching a unique application in exclusivity with OSN over the next two or three months. That is a new service that is tailor made for the region.”

Without going into too many details, Annechino indicated that Viacom was also considering various apps in the mobile and OTT space. “I would say that now we are entering phase two and yes I would like to think we have new projects, it is too soon but we are exploring the possibility of launching new services to the region.

“Think about the population of Middle East, half of the population is under 25 so I think there is a great opportunity,” he added. “I think the penetration of mobile will be a great opportunity for business, because are launching all kinds of new applications with MTV and Nickelodeon and we feel that we have the perfect field now to be successful in the region.”
 

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