Shahid reports 23% surge in viewer numbers year on year

MBC Group’s VOD platform reports 27 million unique monthly users
MBC, Shahid, VOD platform, Ramadan programming, Ramadan viewership


MBC Group’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, Shahid, has witnessed a surge in viewers and subscribers in recent months. The Group claims this is in line with its growth strategy for the next five years for Shahid to serve as the leading and preferred digital platform for modern Arabic families in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

As of the end of Ramadan 2019, Shahid had 27 million unique monthly users, an increase in audience of more than 23% compared to the same period last year.

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Meanwhile, the content on Shahid’s platforms has accumulated more than 248 million views, an increase of 46% compared to last year on Shahid, and an increase of 62% of Shahid Plus paid subscribers.

During Ramadan, Shahid added a total of 50 premium programmes and shows to its offering, 28 of which are exclusive to the platform, including popular programmes, such as ‘Al Hayba 3’, ‘Zelzal’, ‘Dof'at Al Qahera’, ‘Weld Al Ghalaba’, ‘Khamsa Wa Nos’, ‘Al-Asouf 2’, ‘Zay Al Shams’, and ‘Kalabsh 3’.

Since the beginning of Ramadan, Shahid Plus subscribers can access premium content for young viewers, such as ‘Dora the Explorer’, ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’, ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and more, with catch-up of MBC3 programmes right after airing available for all users even without subscription.

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During the first weeks of the holy month, the number of downloads of the Shahid mobile app was up by four times in comparison to regular monthly volumes, despite the fact that for years Shahid has enjoyed the highest mobile app penetration rate in the region, with the Shahid iOS and Android apps installed on more devices than any competitor by a considerable margin, according to the mobile analytics and market data platform, App Annie.

Johannes Larcher, managing director, MBC Digital commented: “We announced major changes to our strategy and level of investment in Shahid early in 2019, and our solid performance during the first five months of 2019, including Ramadan, proves that audiences across MENA love where we are taking our service.

“Besides being the undisputed home of the most compelling content for Arabic-language TV lovers, the upgraded technology behind our services has been a key factor of Shahid’s success.”

In terms of use outside of MENA, Larcher revealed that the service continues to see a steady increase in usage for both Shahid free to watch and subscription content.

“We serve Arabic audiences worldwide, and to better achieve this mission we have recently provided Shahid users outside MENA with the opportunity to access the most popular regular MBC programes, with the first episode of every series available on the service for free, including recently added series and shows for Ramadan 2019,” Larcher said. “As a result, we’ve seen growth of 42% in unique users outside the MENA region by Arab diaspora audiences.’

Based on its performance during Ramadan, Shahid is the largest premium VOD service in the world outside of China, the USA, and India, and in terms of a pure OTT player, Shahid has a market share of about 85% on premium VOD viewership across MENA.

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