Iflix and its partner Zain are working together to wind down its operations in the Middle East with the aim of focusing on iflix's core markets in Southeast Asia.
Asia-based streamer iflix is pulling out of the Middle East after entering the region with two years ago in a partnership with data services operator Zain.
“Iflix and its partner, Zain, are working together to complete the wind-down of the operations in the Middle East to allow iflix to focus on its core markets in Southeast Asia,” the company told BroadcastPro ME.
News of the pullout surfaced shortly after Iflix announced that it had completed its latest round of funding for more than $50m by bringing in major institutional investor, Fidelity alongside strategic shareholders Hearst, Sky and EMC and said it is looking at a possible IPO.
Iflix, which launched in Malaysia and the Philippines in 2015, set up Dubai-based Iflix Arabia in 2017 and rolled out the service in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan. In line with its policy of localised content production, the company made a splash with Arabic online original Tough Luck, a Cairo-set comedy of errors titled packed with local stars back in 2017.
But though streamer subscribers in the Middle East are growing, analysts say top-tier services such as Starz Play, which is now the Middle East market leader ahead of Netflix and Shahid Plus, are getting more traction than lower-cost operations like iflix, which targeted a more downmarket customer base that is being eroded by increased piracy.