Pay-TV operator, OSN, is aims at a younger audience in the Middle East region through a new channel, “Asli” on its Wavo app. In its initial phase, Asli will feature original short form video and audio content, principally in Arabic, that OSN will have licensing rights to. Then, at a later stage, it will move on to commissioning its own content on Asli, according to a senior official.
All of the content will be sourced locally, particularly among the up and coming talent who use digital platforms to tell a story and much besides. “We were missing something that caters to a younger audience — Asli sets that right,” said Martin Stewart, CEO. “We need to cater to their needs and wants. Plus, we are spending more on Arabic language content — the focus for now is get as close to the customer. We need to understand them as well as we understand ourselves.”
OSN is putting up Asli directly onto its Wavo app rather than have a stand-alone channel on its wider satellite TV platform. Asli will have 40 hours of content in its “first season” and will be free of subscription charges. A video show on it would typically average between four to six minutes with the longest one with a 11-minute duration. On the decision to have it on the app, Stewart said, “The focus of Asli had to be in the digital space because that’s where it’s the best fit. We are looking to it to be the first curated original content licensing ecosystem.” He added, “It’s a fairly unique model and takes care of the licensing and distribution commissioning part for the content creators. At the same time, they will retain their IP. We are putting it through Wavo because that’s where the creators and their audiences live.”