OSN, the regional entertainment network, announced plans to double its investment into Arabic content in 2021 through the launch of OSN Originals, a new content umbrella dedicated wholly to regionally produced content. The launch of OSN Originals marks another milestone in the company’s journey following a successful brand relaunch and Disney+ Originals partnership announcement back in April 2020.
Do you want to see the future? Sign up for Campaign’s Marcomms360 Predictions 2021 virtual event. December 14-15. Registration free
The newly launched OSN Originals represents a new era of content resilience for OSN, serving the ever-evolving tastes of the people of the Middle East and North Africa. Under the OSN Originals umbrella sits the recently launched star-studded Season 3 of A’adet Regala, the comical food reality TV show Yalla Neta’asha and the gripping Syrian war drama, No Man’s Land in partnership with Fremantle. OSN announced the latest addition to the OSN Originals roster, Curfew, a feature-length Egyptian film directed by one of the stalwarts of Egyptian cinema, Amir Ramses, which will be premiering at the Cairo Film Festival in December.
With over 1500 hours of Arabic-language content currently on the platform, OSN’s vision for 2021 will focus heavily on Arabic content, split between acquisition and Original production. By the end of 2021, Arabic and Original productions will represent 25% of all content on OSN.
“As one of the largest players in the regional entertainment industry, we bear a unique responsibility to give our audiences content that resonates and taps into their passions and aspirations. Audience demands have evolved, and OSN Originals was borne from the need to meet these demands. We truly believe in the importance of local content and OSN Originals is further testament to our commitment to this. We have structured this as a long-term strategy and priority focus that will translate into a library of unique never-seen-before and never-told-before stories from the region,” said Patrick Tillieux, CEO, OSN.
“We are on a mission to bring content that is exciting, closer to home and has the power to move our audiences. The guiding principle of our content strategy is to be inclusive enough to embrace the diversity of our audiences across the region. Whether it’s a scripted or non-scripted piece of content, the story and its relevance to the region will determine its originality” added Rolla Karam, Interim Chief Content Officer, OSN.
Curfew was directed by Amir Ramses, a key creative partner of OSN Originals. Commenting on the launch, Amir Ramses, Director, Curfew and Artistic Director of El Gouna Film Festival said: “The time is now for our local stories to be celebrated. Middle East audiences have evolved, and so have their tastes and expectations for regional content. It’s been an honour to be selected by OSN and in turn, be provided with a platform of millions of viewers across the region. The soon to be launched Curfew will be showcased on OSN as the first feature-length film under the OSN Originals umbrella. There is a strong demand for Arabic content that provides quality production values, gripping storylines, and themes that reflect the world regional audiences experience today.”
Set in the Middle East and mainly in Syria, ‘No Man’s Land’ focuses on the humanitarian aspects that people in the region can relate to while shedding light on angles that have never previously been portrayed or told before on the big screen.
“We identified OSN as the right partner to take the gripping Syrian war drama No Man’s Land to the region. Starring an international cast, No Man’s Land is an emotional and fast-paced drama with a story that is very close to the hearts and minds of local audiences. We’re proud of this unique collaboration with OSN which will bring this high-end production to the Middle East as an OSN Original series” said Amac Us, Vice President, Sales, Middle East, Africa & South East Europe at Fremantle.
OSN’s first Original production, season three of A’adet Regala was launched earlier this year, cementing OSN’s mission to provide localized, tailored and culturally relevant Arabic content to the audience, on-demand, in keeping with today’s consumer viewing habits.
Commenting on the new season, which aims to stay true to the legacy of the show while providing viewers with themes that resonate beyond Egypt across the Middle East, Saliee Waly, Producer of A’adet Regala commented:
“OSN Originals is designed with themes and hot-topics that create buzz both on-air, and online, exciting existing and newer, younger subscribers to engage in the new ‘water-cooler’ moments that today occur in the social media space. This is what this show is all about, featuring heated debate reflecting much of what is thought but not spoken about often in our region and shines the spotlight on these topics, igniting conversation both offline and online. Having celebrities feel comfortable enough to share what’s on their minds is what makes this show, truly authentic and different to the rest,”