ArpuPlus, a subsidiary of digital products and technology company A15 and MENA’s biggest content aggregator with more than 200,000 pieces of diversified content, has announced that it will soon roll out a revamped version of Shofha, video-on-demand platform, with new and better features and technology. The company is also changing Shofha’s logo to go with the platform’s fresh look.
“Since our mission is to make people’s lives much easier, we are going to integrate brand new features and an advanced technology into the platform to transform the video streaming experience of our users. The innovative version of Shofha will be more user friendly and easy to navigate as well. Additionally, we are changing Shofha’s logo, one of the key aspects of the brand, to make it more modern and relatable to our audience. By revamping the site, we aim to satisfy our customers and provide them with a more pleasant and enjoyable experience while using the platform,” said Medhat Karam, CEO, ArpuPlus.
“We are excited to launch the new Shofha platform soon. We cannot wait to know our users’ reactions as they try out the new features. We really care about making changes not only to further enhance our users’ experience of Shofha but also to exceed their expectations. Through the new portal, we hope to attract more prospective subscribers in the region as well,” Karam added.
Shofha VOD platform was launched in 2016. Presently operating in 10 MENA countries, Shofha has now more than 1.2 million subscribers across the region.
The first avatar of the service, Shofha.com, was originally launched in 2010, operated by LINKonLINE, a subsidiary of Orascom’s LINKdotNET, to offer downloads of Arabic films, television series and live television at a price cheaper than the many pirated DVDs prevalent in the region. The main content partner was Rotana which owns a large catalogue of Egyptian films and Arabic series.
The updated version will have an advanced search bar designed to give more accurate results. More categories added to the portal allow users to have quicker content navigation. The new UI adds descriptions provided for each content piece will be integrated to give users an overview of what they will watch, thus saving their time and avoiding any hassle. The description includes the year of production, duration, cast, and, if applicable, a brief summary of the plot.
Moreover, Shofha provides a playlist that will appear under each content played for suggestions and recommendations. This customized playlist will display videos relevant to the users’ taste and preference based on their previous choices.
Fadi Doss, Commercial Director, ArpuPlus said, “Since we are operating in different countries and serving different nationalities, Shofha will be available in Arabic and English to make it easier for all users to use it in their own preferred language."
Shofha is also incorporating the adaptive bitrate streaming with HLS technology into the platform for better performance and faster, more customized service. HLS ensures streaming of high-quality videos for each user by making necessary adjustments in the system to match the available speed of wired or wireless networks.
As this technology is simple and flexible, it is designed to accommodate a wide range of mobile devices and network capacities. HLS will significantly minimize buffering and lagging time as well by detecting the user’s bandwidth and CPU capacity in real time and adjusting the quality of the media stream accordingly. Long-time buffering is also avoided through this technology by removing the need for constant connectivity between Shofha’s server and the client’s device.