Starz Play passes one million subscribers | VOD | News | Rapid TV News
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Middle East video streaming platform Starz Play is celebrating 300% year-on-year growth as it passes the one million customer mark.

Maaz Sheikh CEO STARZ PLAYThe Dubai-based subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform, which launched in 2014, now offers Hollywood and Bollywood films, US series, and Arabic content in 20 countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

“It’s an exciting time for Starz Play - particularly our reaching one million subscribers this year. We look forward to continuing to build on our success as we progress with our expansion plans across MENA into 2019 and beyond,” said Maaz Sheikh, CEO and Co-Founder at Starz Play.

“In an increasingly competitive space, we have managed to differentiate our offering to the benefit of the customer, through working closely with partner telecom providers to offer subscribers a payment method that does not rely only on online subscription, as well as by investing in world-class content that people want to watch and watch again.”

The SVOD platform has secured US$125 million in funding since inception in 2014. It counts Starz/Lionsgate and SSGA (formerly GE Asset Management) as major backers, each holding a 40% stake. Delta Partners and Founders/Management hold the remaining 20% share in Starz Play.

Last year, Starz Play secured a five year partnership with UAE telco Etisalat, along with tie-ups with eXtra, STC/Intigral  and Mobily in Saudi Arabia.Spreading its geographic reach, the platform also launched in Pakistan in September 2018 through a deal with Cinepax.

“In 2019, we will continue to focus on the customer, and will seek to increase market share as well our subscriber base, with additional investments enabling further geographical expansion. In terms of the market, conditions are looking favourable for our sector, helping Starz Play go from strength to strength, with **SVOD revenues in the MENA region predicted to reach US$2.1 billion by 2024 ,” added Sheikh.

Although it faces competition from Netflix and MBC Shahid, Starz Play is currently the SVOD market leader in MENA in terms of online video subscriptions and online video revenues – claiming a marketshare of 24% and 31.53% respectively.