The importance of good content and storytelling is gaining more recognition within the Arab world.
Last month’s news that Netflix’s shares plunged by more than 35% when it pulled out of Russia and lost 200,000 subs was met with mixed reactions from the industry. News that the streaming giant expects to lose another 2m subs in Q2 has not helped the cause.
Surprisingly, there were very few hands raised in favour of a platform that did actually turn media entertainment on its head. While some speculated on whether Netflix is now ripe for an acquisition, others noted the streaming giant is not much of a lure for potential investors because it is not a fully integrated media company and has only one low-ARPU product.
Netflix, however, must be lauded for investing billions in content and compelling others also to loosen their purse strings. Perhaps its business model was not the best but it did set some good benchmarks. And its investment in regional content gave local players opportunities that broadcasters would never have offered.
Netflix has and will continue to get its fair share of fame, but there are individuals who have dedicated an entire lifetime to bringing good stories and content to the public, and who often go unnoticed.
Our cover story this month is about one such person who has spent most of her career identifying great scripts and giving good storytellers a chance. Besides working a full-time job at MBC Group, she handpicks 12 Arab films every year and screens them in New York to ensure good Arab storytellers have the visibility they otherwise may not get.
Content and good storytelling are important to the media entertainment business, and this is being increasingly recognised in the Arab world as well. The colocation of DISCOP this time with CABSAT is a reflection of that.
Discussions will revolve around both tech as well as content at the Middle East’s largest broadcast event, along with some new showcases. Get ready for a great show. See you there.