Dubai, UAE, 6 January 2021 – Discovery Inc., the global leader in real life entertainment, today announced a strategic partnership with STARZPLAY, the MENA region’s fastest-growing subscription video on demand service, to launch discovery+ – the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service – across the Middle East and North Africa. STARZPLAY subscribers can now watch discovery+ content within a dedicated branded area across all existing STARZPLAY platforms.
The partnership was announced at a virtual launch broadcast from Dubai.
Recently announced as part of a global roll-out, the service to be launched in Middle East and Africa, features a wide range of exclusive content to the platform, original series across popular passion verticals in which Discovery brands have a strong leadership position. These include lifestyle and relationships; home and food; true crime; paranormal; adventure and natural history; as well as science, tech and the environment, and a slate of high-quality documentaries.
Kasia Kieli, President & Managing Director EMEA at Discovery Inc, said: “The launch of discovery+ across MENA represents a major step toward adding 18 additional countries and territories to the global expansion of the platform, giving customers options to access the content that they love and have come to expect from Discovery.”
Maaz Sheikh, CEO and Co-Founder, STARZPLAY, said: “The unprecedented growth of online streaming has driven the need for compelling content that provides real value for subscribers. As the region’s pioneering and homegrown SVOD platform, we have been building in strategic partnerships to offer more online content and varied choices to our subscribers. We are confident that the discovery+ add on will be welcomed by the MENA audience and we look forward to growing this partnership further.”
In the MENA region, discovery+ subscribers will enjoy new content added to the platform each month, featuring global franchises such as Shark Week, MythBusters, Gold Rush, Expedition Unknown, House Hunters International, 90 Day Fiancé, NASA’s Unexplained Files and Say Yes to the Dress available for anytime, anywhere viewing, as well as boxset binging.
STARZPLAY subscribers will have access to a wide range of exclusive discovery+ originals across popular passion verticals for which Discovery brands are known. Coming first are the exclusive series, The Impossible Row, Amy Schumer Learns to Cook (Uncensored), and JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened?
Additionally, discovery+ will offer the region’s favourite programmes from the home of Arabic cooking, Fatafeat, along with the definitive collection of environmental programming with access to BBC’s largest natural history library including Planet Earth and Blue Planet.
Francesco Perta, Senior Business Development and Distribution Director, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and North East Europe at Discovery Inc, said: “Our vast content library gives us a running start to serve fans directly in markets across EMEA, and the world, in ways that are relevant, compelling and tailored to each market. Our partnership with STARZPLAY is another example of how we are scaling our DTC businesses by leveraging our combination of competitive advantages – content ownership, brand strength and the biggest global footprint in media.”
Now live everywhere MENA subscribers can access the STARZPLAY app, including via Apple TV, and enjoy thousands of hours of Discovery-owned content in a dedicated braded area for a small additional subscription, anytime, anywhere and from any device
Danny Bates, Co-founder and CCO of STARZPLAY, said: “As a leading regional video streaming service, our core strategic focus involves seeking out ways to drive customer satisfaction as we continue our growth trajectory across MENA. The decision to enter the content aggregation space adds to our proposition as a one-stop-shop for premium content, offering our subscribers quality, choice and convenience. Discovery offers the best-in-class real-life entertainment content portfolio and adding discovery+ to our offering continues to drive value to our platform.”
STARZPLAY is available to download online and via respective iOS and Android app stores, with access to discovery+ for just AED/SAR15 per month, in addition to existing subscription packages. All new and existing subscribers can also access discovery+ with a seven-day free trial period. discovery+ will be available through a partnership with regional SVOD leader, STARZPLAY in 18 countries and territories across the Middle East and North Africa.
STARZPLAY (www.starzplay.com) is a subscription video on demand service that streams Hollywood and Arabic movies, TV shows, documentaries, kids’ entertainment and STARZPLAY original content – to 20 countries across MENA and Pakistan.
STARZPLAY has seen phenomenal year-on-year growth since its launch in 2015, reaching over a million paying subscribers and installed on more than six million devices. STARZPLAY has secured US$125 million in equity funding through STARZ, a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A), State Street Global Advisors (NYSE: STT), and technology investment firms SEQ Capital Partners and Delta Partners.
The service carries thousands of premium titles including original hit shows like Baghdad Central, Power, Outlander, and Spartacus. STARZPLAY has long term licensing partnerships with a host of leading, global studios including Disney, Warner Bros, CBS, Showtime, Sony, Universal, MGM, and Fremantle.
STARZPLAY allows subscribers to watch its full HD and 4K content via a range of internet-enabled devices, smart TVs and game consoles, and is widely available on regional IPTV services. Its iOS and Android apps – installed on more than six million devices – also allow downloads for offline playback.