Viu hit 45m MAU and 5.3m paid subscribers and ranks No.1 for number of users in Southeast Asia.
Can you tell us more about Viu’s presence and numbers, particularly in the MENA region?
Viu has reach across 16 markets counting several across the Middle East, including, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. We recently announced that we had reached 45m monthly active users (MAU) and 5.3m paid subscribers.
Whilst we are a pan-regional player, we operate with a local mindset and therefore offer a rich content library designed and especially curated to meet unique user preferences of our Middle Eastern viewers. With a strong and growing following in the region, we offer our audiences a wide range of Arab TV shows from across the Arab world including Egyptian, Khaleeji, Syrian, and Tunisian dramas, classic movies and all-time fan favourites, as well as exclusive Viu Original Arabic productions.
Are there any stats on which countries within MENA it has fared well in and any stats for this region?
Overall, we’ve seen the most promising uptake from our Egyptian viewers, thanks to the popularity of our Viu Original productions. We write and produce original Arabic series through our Viu Original and have worked with numerous Egyptian talents, creatives and production houses which explain the high viewing numbers from Egyptian audiences.
We also see a high number of active users in Egypt and Saudi Arabia where subscribers are drawn to our extensive library of international titles in Arabic, Korean, English, Pakistani, Indian, Pinoy, and Spanish.
How does Viu view investments in Arabic originals and are there more in the pipeline you can talk about?
We recently released two new Arabic originals, Ansaf Majaneen and Wadi Al Jinn and have a few more originals in the pipeline which we’ll share more info on soon.
Furthermore, we are committed to developing and nurturing entertainment ecosystems on a local and regional level, and form partnerships with local producers and upcoming Arab talent to create our Viu Original. Our investment in these originals productions gives us the opportunity to collaborate and co-produce with local production houses and talent.
How did the lockdown help Viu and what it is doing to reduce subscriber churn?
We launched five exclusive shows during Ramadan 2020 and added more international titles through our partnership with FOX+ — which saw us add kids’ content to our platform. We also expanded our foreign-language library adding new Spanish, Korean, Pinoy and Pakistani titles.
What technical and infrastructural upgrades have you had to undertake to address the surge in subscribers (if you had this) during Covid?
Viu developed a robust model with dual revenue streams from the get-go, based on a free/advertising-supported tier as well as a premium subscription. This has allowed Viu to be accessible to users while monetizing video views and video minutes from year one while the SVOD market was building up.
Our content acquisition and Viu Original productions are based on data insights from behavioural clustering and rich metadata (scene, actors, etc.), and this has served us well.
With Wessam gone, who has taken his place at Viu?
We have incredibly diverse and goal-orientated in-market teams across the region that are working day in and day out to meet the expectations and desires of today’s modern content lovers. At present we have not identified someone to fill Wessam’s shoes but will share updates when possible. Our capable global and local content team continues to lead our strategy and operations until then.