Du inks Netflix deal in first for UAE market

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) forms a partnership with Netflix to bring the world's best entertainment to its customers' fingertips
Netflix, Middle east streaming service, Svod, Video on demand, Du, Telcos, Subscriber growth, OTT subscriber base, OTT, Partnerships

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Dubai based telco Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) (du) has announced a partnership with streaming pioneer Netflix to bring the world’s best global entertainment straight to its customers’ fingertips.

In a UAE market first, the association will enable du and Virgin Mobile customers to enjoy Netflix across TV and mobile services, a statement said.

Anthony Shiner, chief digital lifestyle and innovation officer, EITC, said: “Our partnerships are key catalysts in making EITC a world-class organisation and facilitating growth plans in the UAE.

"We are dedicated to offering added value and convenience through up-to-date entertainment solutions, whether it is streaming movies and shows on our customers’ devices or paying bills through our app. Our collaboration with Netflix is another milestone in our digital vision and innovation roadmap.”

Starting this month, EITC said its du and Virgin Mobile customers will enjoy Netflix on “second screens”, paying for the service through their mobile bills.

Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 130 million memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. 

EITC is 39.5 percent owned by Emirates Investment Authority, 19.75 percent by Mubadala Investment Company, 19.5 percent by Emirates Communications and Technology. Telcos, pay-tv operators and device manufacturers are key to Netflix’s partnership strategy as it looks to expand across Asia.

Netflix faces localisation hurdles common to most SVOD players in its bid for Middle East expansion: getting more driver content while overcoming concerns over data costs as well as limited ways to pay in the region.

Striking partnership deals with pay-TV and telco operators has helped Netflix take its subscriber numbers “to the next level”, said Maria Ferreras, Vice President of Business Development EMEA, at the recent IBC conference in Amsterdam.

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