Broadcasters worked on new strategies this year to counter the impact of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown on Ramadan productions.
Ramadan Mubarak to all our readers. What an unusual Ramadan this one will be especially for the entertainment industry that relies on this period to make most of its annual revenue! But I have some good news. Despite the lockdowns, broadcasters have managed to announce several premium shows, which means some of them have been completed. And just as we head to press, there are reports that governments may relax movement restrictions for production houses so they can complete their shoots for the Holy Month. In the meantime, we have all the scoop on completed shows, incomplete ones and who secured which programmes in our exclusive Ramadan Q&A with Heba Korayem.
Interestingly, with the lockdown, most company heads are also stuck in town. We took that opportunity to ask analysts and senior executives representing different sectors of the media and entertainment industry to share how their respective sectors or companies are coping with the impact of the pandemic, and what emerging business models and shifting consumer behaviours they have observed. We bring you some fascinating insights from those conversations in this edition as part of our Vox Pop.
Of course, one obvious observation is that while cinema has taken a temporary hit, TV and streaming seem to have seen a significant spike in viewership with OTT claiming a large part of the pie at the moment. As one executive pointed out, this makes the case for SVOD much stronger now in this market, where FTA has maintained supremacy. Not everyone, however, has been able to monetise this as advertisers are treading with caution and consumers are wary of spending on entertainment. Still, some streaming services have said their subs have gone up by 30-35%; OSN claimed its subs tripled last month.
The addition of Disney+ Originals to OSN was a fantastic strategy that may have given the platform the boost it needed. This brings us to our cover story this month with Patrick Tillieux, CEO of OSN, who took the reins of a floundering company 15 months ago and has put it well back on the road to recovery. It is a story of hope and positivity, and a strong reminder to all of us that we shall overcome!