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OSN launches premium online TV platform in MENA region

MENA’s pay TV network OSN has launched a new premium online TV service, ‘Go by OSN’.

MENA’s pay TV network OSN has launched a new premium online TV service, ‘Go by OSN’.

For US$10 per month, subscribers can access premium entertainment including Hollywood blockbusters, Arabic productions, TV series and popular kids content. ‘Go by OSN’ is compatible with all internet providers, and is available on fixed, Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G mobile broadband across 24 countries in the MENA region. The service is currently available on PCs and Macs, smartphones, and tablets and will soon be launched on smart TVs and gaming consoles.

David Butorac, CEO, OSN, said: “We are witnessing one of the biggest shifts in technology since the launch of the internet with mobile devices playing an increasingly important role in people’s lives today – especially the youth. As a pioneer of pay TV, OSN has always believed in pushing the frontiers to achieve excellence in the region’s burgeoning television sector. With the launch of ‘Go,’ not only is OSN setting another benchmark, but we are creating a platform that reflects the changing viewing habits of consumers across the region.

“With internet users across the region expected to reach over 400 million by 2015 and over 200 million people in the region currently below the age of 25, the potential for online TV streaming is tremendous. With ‘Go’, we are creating a new entertainment choice for those who traditionally have been depending on online video channels for content that is often illegitimate or low quality.”

With internet penetration of over 40% in the region, alongside mobile phone internet user penetration at an average of 54%, Butorac is confident ‘Go by OSN’ will strongly appeal to the fast growing ‘internet’ generation.

In Saudi Arabia and the UAE alone, smartphone penetration is at 79% and 72% respectively, while mobile internet access through smartphones stands at 84% and 83% respectively. Countries like Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia are also witnessing faster mobile broadband growth compared to fixed broadband.

OSN is working with ATEME’s TITAN software transcoding solution to encode premium content for Video-on-Demand (VoD), in support of its new high-end VoD service.

TITAN KFE is a multi-codec/multi-format file-based video transcoding software solution. TITAN KFE maximises the video quality and bandwidth efficiency of content for delivery to television, mobile and internet. It can transcode any mezzanine file to MPEG-2, H.264 and HEVC for VoD, push-VoD, catch-up TV and adaptive streaming services.

ATEME’s chief strategy officer Benoit Fouchard said: “ATEME’s presence in the Middle East is very recent, and we do not yet compare to the market leaders in terms of local presence or local references. We think that the selection of TITAN by OSN is one more token that they have high ambitions for their premium VoD service over the entire region. They just want to be the best service with the best content, and the best picture quality, full stop. And TITAN’s performance will hopefully serve them well for that purpose.

“For ATEME, it means we now have a flagship reference to develop our business in the region. We intend to provide them with outstanding support, make them super happy, and steadily grow our local presence,” he added.

This story also appears on IBC’s Content Everywhere.