1 In April, the international market leader in the streaming market, Netflix, saw its shares drop nearly 40 per cent when it announced its Q1 results. There were two reasons: its number of subscribers had dropped for the first time in a decade, and the service said it was ready to announce an ad-supported tier. It had previously operated on a subscription model only.
2 One of the reasons Netflix’s subscriber base is dropping is a pick-up in competitor streaming services. Perhaps the most anticipated of these globally was Disney+. With thousands of films, series and exclusive originals from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and general entertainment from Star, the service went live in the Middle East in June.
3 Bein Media Group announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with SMC in October, which appointed the Riyadh-based media representation firm as the exclusive advertising partner for the global media group within MENA. The agreement covers all Bein channels, including its flagship sports channel Bein Sports, the official broadcaster of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and covers the period before, during, and after the tournament up to the end of 2023.
4 The Advertising Business Group (ABG) appointed research firm Ipsos to spearhead the UAE cross-media measurement project, starting in June 2022. The project aims to provide holistic and transparent advertising and content performance measurement in the advertising and media industry in the UAE. In July the ABG appointed Amine Sadik, director of media and digital – Arabic peninsula & Levant at Procter & Gamble, as lead of the project. Sadik succeeded Asad Rehman, who recently announced his departure as director of media and digital hubs – MENA, Turkey & Russia at Unilever.
6 In August, the commercial arm of MBC Group, MBC Media Solutions (MMS), announced the renewal of its partnership with the Saudi Sports Company (SSC) network of TV and digital channels for the coming three years. This maintains MMS as the sole representative for all advertising on SSC content after a successful year of partnership between the two firms.
7 In the same month, out-of-home provider Hypermedia signed a strategic agreement with Streach, a part of Seventh Decimal. This will enable it “to put audience measurement at the core of out-of-home trading and to maintain it as an integral part of any media mix”, said the company, which has both static and digital properties.
8 Middle East cinema advertising company (and Campaign Middle East sister brand) Motivate Val Morgan launched dedicated platforms, CinePlan and CineMeasure, through which advertisers can easily plan and measure their cinema campaigns. CinePlan offers two routes to build a cinema media plan based on advertiser requirements and introduces a ‘By Admission ’offering. This route lets advertisers define their advertising reach at cinema locations of preference. CineMeasure is a post-campaign measurement tool.
9 A new out-of-home advertising solution powered by innovative technology has launched for the first time in the region. Motion Icon aims to revolutionise OOH advertising, having developed a unique and globally patented escalator step branding solution. Brands will be able to access previously unavailable retail space to attract, influence, and convert their audience just before the point of purchase. It has launched in the region in partnership with Campaign Middle East parent company Motivate Media Group.
10 Architectural Digest (AD) and Condé Nast Traveller will transition from being published under licence to being wholly owned and operated, the New York-based publisher announced in December. This represents the first new owned-and-operated market for the company since 2007, when Vogue was launched in India. Condé Nast’s Middle East operations for AD and Condé Nast Traveller will be based in Dubai where they were previously published by ITP Media Group. Condé Nast brands, Vogue and Wired also operate in the Middle East under licence with Nervora Media.