Co-founder, Parvez Ahmed described the free-to-air channel as a platform for the year-old portal.
A2ZArabia.com, the online portal has launched a shopping channel, A2ZArabia TV, on Nilesat in October 2017. Co-founder, Parvez Ahmed described the free-to-air channel on frequency 11938V as a complementary platform towards creating brand awareness for the year-old classified and shopping portal.
The 24-hour channel is currently being uplinked to Nilesat through the Samacom teleport in the UAE, and is played out of the UK.
Speaking to BroadcastPro ME, Ahmed said: It has been a month since the launch and we want to go beyond just featuring videos of our existing vendors. We are working towards having targeted content at specific times catering to various demographics. For instance, the morning hours would focus on beauty and fashion targeting women between the ages 25 and 45. Later in the day, we will have content on property and automobiles largely targeting a male demographic. Eventually we are looking at offering a platform for day-to-day lifestyle events as well.
The free-to-air channel on Nilesat, plays out to a potential audience of 380 million across the MENA but the aim, according to Ahmed, is to focus on certain countries in the initial four to five years of expansion.
We are speaking to du, Etisalat, Batelco, OSN and others to see if our channel can be hosted on their platforms. A set top box typically comes with preset channels and not all the FTA channels find space. We are looking at maximising our visibility.
Based in Dubai, A2ZArabia TV shares the 45-member team for production and marketing, with its online shopping counterpart. While the vendors for the shopping portal and the TV channel are the same, content will be leveraged differently given the formats, Ahmed explained.
The television is more of an advertising channel for the products available online. Instead of me advertising my brand and products with various TV Channels, I am running my own channel. Vendors have a value add when they come on board with us. We are also offering cash on delivery which makes the buying process simple.
Buoyed by a substantial investment from private investors last year, and the sale of more than 5,000 deal vouchers in the first years of operation, Ahmed is optimistic about the future.
As I said earlier, the idea is not to just run videos. We want to create interaction, much the same way other shopping channels currently do. We will start with the UAE and then extend to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the rest of the GCC and ultimately Egypt. Obviously we will have focused areas. In 4-5 years of expansion we are looking at creating localised content for each of the countries.
The ecommerce portal, A2ZArabia.com, was launched in October 2016 and co-founded by Parvez Ahmed and Syed Sarfraz with categories that include properties and motors, as well as sections for jobs, shopping, deals, events and other classifieds.