OSN to invest in original content

Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) rebranded its streaming app Wavo to OSN Streaming with the intention of combining its traditional and digital offering.

Within two months, content consumption on the app grew by a surprising 900 percent and the download of its apps increased by 1700 percent.

Last year, OSN has announced new original productions that will be available on the streaming service. The collaboration with Disney+ last year was a major driver for OSN Streaming, which already had partnerships with other major channels and studios including HBO, NBC Universal, Paramount and MGM.

The Interim Chief Content Officer at OSN, Rolla Karam, said, “We have all the major studios on board and we have independent content providers from all over the world so it’s a fresh and unique proposition.”

The service is also emphasizing on acquiring and airing content at the same time as it does in Western markets. For example, new episodes of “New Amsterdam” were being made available on the platform the same minute as they were in the US.

OSN hadn’t really ventured into original content before May 2020, stated Karam.

This includes “A’adet Rigala” Season 3, the food reality show “Yalla Neta’asha” (Come Dine With Me), the Syrian war drama “No Man’s Land” and the Egyptian film “Curfew.”

In 2021, OSN is planning to roll out a Ramadan version for the next season of “Yalla Neta’asha” and is also working on two unscripted shows that will be announced soon. The purpose is to have one piece of original content every two months, if not every month, Karam said.

At the moment, original content is made to be relevant to the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. “Even though we speak different dialects, at the end of the day we are Arabs; we speak the same language and have the same traditions,” said Karam.

Despite OSN doubling its investment in original content this year, it is “challenging” to develop content especially for certain countries, not least because of COVID-related restrictions, said Karam. However, she remains hopeful that the company would be able to do so in 2022.

She also added that Egypt is a big market for OSN with Egyptian content performing well on the platform, along with Turkish content.

In March 2021, OSN launched a new channel called OSN Woman on both traditional TV and its streaming service. All the content on the channel is picked and curated by women at OSN.

In the future, said Karam, OSN hopes to produce original content for this channel. “We are hoping to produce content for OSN woman. I am currently receiving some pitches from female talents in the region and I hope that we can announce by Q3-Q4 2021 some original content on that channel.”

Source: BroadcastPro ME