The unusual deal marks the U.S. streaming giant’s first partnership in the region. A new OSN Box set-top service is to be launched towards the end of the second quarter via which Netflix content will be available.
OSN customers will be given the option to pay for their Netflix subscription on one consolidated OSN bill, an agreement that should help Netflix gain more customers in a region where it has been struggling to gain traction.
Netflix and Amazon together accounted for just 21 percent of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market in 2017, according to a report from research and analysis firm IHS Markit.
“The future of the entertainment industry in the MENA region will be shaped by providers who offer value and choice at every turn,” commented OSN CEO Martin Stewart in a statement. “Through this groundbreaking partnership with Netflix, we are demonstrating our customer-centric focus on delivering convenience and flexibility for all.”
Maria Ferreras, VP Business Development for EMEA at Netflix noted that through the partnership “OSN’s customers will be able to seamlessly access and enjoy all the best entertainment in one place.”
The statement did not mention the prospect of a production partnership which would seem like the next logical step. Since launching in the Middle East in late 2016, the only original content in Arabic that Netflix has produced is a stand-up comedy special with Lebanese comedian and actor Adel Karam.