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Monday, November 10, 2008

The future of TV in the Arab world

This is my (modest) opinion on the future of Arab TV in the Arab world.

The Arab TV landscape is rapidly changing, and within 5 years we will probably be facing the following scenario.

Two or three major media groups competing in the Free to Air (and probably entering the Pay TV) market. Currently Rotana and MBC are these two major groups.
Each will propose a number of TV channels to their viewers (general entertainment, sports, news, music etc...) thus combining advertising sales.

Three or four groups that will compete with lesser channels, but with one or two key TV programs. Media groups controlling Abu Dhabi TV and Dubai TV will be the leaders in this category.

To service these powerhouses, a concentration in production companies will probably follow. The Arab market can probably sustain 4 to 5 major groups. The financial of production companies are quite complicated, and in front of large clients (MBC vs Rotana for ex) only cash ready production houses will survice.

Media agency representatives will probably stop being the major players they are today in the TV landscape. Large groups such as MBC and Rotana will end up having their own internal media rep agencies (currently MBC is with CHoueiri group and Rotana has its inhouse Rotana Media Services) External agencies will continue to strive on the number of smaller channels and medium sized players.

Audience research (currently controlled by market leader Ipsos) will need to change. The large media groups will have mor epower than the Ipsos like companies. They might at one point decide to build their own joint research tool (or outsource it to companies such as Ipsos)
The future of the audience research will be to manage to combine out of home TV watching with in home traditional TV.

More integration is expected between Media and Telecom firms. Each might enter the market of the other (very long term) but eventually, Telecom firms are to media groups what supermarkets are to Coca Cola.