The MENA streaming service STARZ Play has raised a total of $125 million in funding.
New 2017 commitments have come from Starz, State Street Global Advisors and media and technology investment firms SEQ Capital Partners and Delta Partners. The new investment funds will go toward enhancing STARZ Play’s customer experience, acquiring new programming and strengthening its position across the Middle East and North Africa.
Since launching in 2015, STARZ Play has accumulated more than 700,000 paying subscribers.
Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement that “the success of Starz Play in the MENA region highlights the tremendous growth potential” for OTT services in the region and elsewhere. As a result, Starz and its partners “continue to evaluate future opportunities to expand the service in new territories outside the MENA region.
The cash injection will also serve to strengthen Starz Play Arabia’s position in the Arab world, where subscriber signups have been gaining traction this past year during which the service’s customer base tripled to more than 700,000 subscribers who are “steady customers that remain on a paying basis,” said Sheikh. Over a million customers have signed up for the service since it started, with a portion dropping out after the free trial.
Dubai-based Starz Play currently operates in 19 MENA countries, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia. Its top territory is Saudi Arabia, where it has a partnership with leading telecom operator Saudi Telecom.