Middle East VOD Starz Play raised $125m funding to boost content


Starz Play, the Middle East Video-on-demand service provider raised $125 million that will be used primarily to boost its content library. The two-year old company, which has attracted 700000 paying subscribers to date across Middle East North Africa.

The funds raised from two new investors in the shape of the Boston-based State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) asset management firm, and Dubai-based media investment platform Delta Partners will be used in three areas. Firstly, to strengthen the programming offer, secondly to enhance the product and user experience, and thirdly to expand in MENA and other growth markets beyond the Arab world.

Commenting the latest development, Maaz Shaikh, CEO of Starz Play declared: “We have shortlisted attractive, high growth markets and are in discussion with potential partners on the ground. We are looking at the competitive landscape in each market, what the state broadcast offering is, and 4G is an important factor for us to determine market attractiveness”.

Since the service launched with 3,000 hours of content and partnerships with three studios, Starz Play has evolved to provide over 6,500 hours of content and established relationships with all the major studios – most recently with Fox and Universal. In addition, it has added around 1,200 hours of Arabic content and 2,300 hours of French content for its North African viewers.