Staying on top in a competitive market

Ashley Rite at OSN+ explains the importance of staying on top in an increasingly competitive entertainment market

As the region becomes increasingly digitally diversified, streaming services will continue to grow at an accelerated pace or consider new areas of consolidation. It is a ‘viewers market’ – where subscribers can watch what they want, wherever they want with minimal commitment. But it also poses challenges for entertainment companies who are competing for their attention – and OSN+ has seen this first-hand how with rising competition in the content streaming industry, and entertainment in general, impacting share of voice and investment strategy. 

With so many streaming services available, it can be difficult to capture the attention of viewers and convince them to choose our platform over others. One of the ways in which we achieve this is by personalisation and being hyper-local in our approach, driven by a data-centric strategy. If we can build a trusted loyalty to the product and the derivative channels to increase that sticky subscriber. It is also key that OSN continues to innovate on behalf of its customers, respond to audience engagement, and ensure access to the best content from the region, as well as from some of the biggest global studios, including HBO, Paramount, and NBCUniversal. 

In the Middle East, competition in the content streaming industry is particularly intense. According to a report by Research and Markets, the revenue from video streaming in the Middle East and North Africa region is expected to reach $3.82 billion by 2024. This is a significant increase from $2.03 billion in 2022, indicating the rapid growth of the industry in the region.

Specifically, the OSN+ marketing team utilises traditional strategies and branding, and combines wide-ranging elements of PR, social media and creative to establish fully holistic campaigns that seek to generate interest in the brand.  The team also increases subscriber numbers through fun and engaging promotions of the most premium content in what is fast becoming an extremely competitive and saturated industry. 

One of the biggest initiatives I’ve worked hard to instill across all the 360-marketing campaigns is the importance of speaking the language of the product, and that is through content creation. Whether it is an experiential activation, star-studded screenings or influencer partnership, we create bespoke materials that can achieve the reach needed to drive upper funnel activities for both brand and title marketing. The content is highly engaging, and we’ve seen that it is engaged with much more than traditional promos and commercial pieces.

However, implementing these strategies requires careful planning and execution. Companies must have a deep understanding of their target audience and what they are looking for in a streaming service, as well as the local culture and customs in the markets they are targeting. They must also understand their competitors and how they are positioning themselves in the market.

To overcome these challenges, companies must focus on building strong relationships with their audience and differentiating themselves from the competition. This can be achieved through tailored content and on-ground marketing activations, as well as a deep understanding of their target audience and competitors.

Experiential activations are another strategy that can help companies stand out in a crowded marketplace. For the House of the Dragon launch in August 2022, the OSN+ marketing team chose to steer away from a traditional cinema setting and instead looked to creative spaces, like the Theatre of Digital Art in Dubai, to create an immersive experience and bring an ‘Instagrammable’ concept to life. Allowing fans to engage with the content they love most creates a sense of loyalty to the brand, as was the case at the Riyadh Front where OSN+ erected a free tesseract activation to give users and potential viewers the chance to discover some of the platform’s most popular content pieces. These activations create memorable and impactful experiences that can set your platform apart from the competition. This is particularly important in a market like the Middle East, where face-to-face interactions and relationships are highly valued.

Understanding your audience segments and the future user is key. By analysing consumer behaviour and engagement on their platform, companies can gain insights into what their audience is looking for and adjust their content and marketing strategies accordingly and execute a multitude of varying engagement activities and other tactics specifically tailored to these segments. 

Investing in tailored Originals is also a highly effective way to reach your target audience and differentiate your brand. By creating content that is specific to the interests and preferences of your target market, you can establish a deeper connection with them and increase engagement. With regional adaptions like the 2022 Arabic adaption of Suits or the OSN+ Original docuseries A Sit Down with Anas ad Hala, the platform aims to cater to the diverse dialects and narratives of the region. 

Ultimately, the content streaming industry in the Middle East is booming. There is no denying that the biggest winners in our industry are those that choose to go the extra mile for their customers. 

By Ashley Rite, VP, Marketing & Growth at OSN+