Arab News at 44: Top 10 most read stories of the year

Updated 20 April 2019

Arab News at 44: Top 10 most read stories of the year

RIYADH: As Arab News celebrates its 44th anniversary, we take a look back at what our loyal readers were perusing over the past 12 months — from Mariah Carey rocking the Kingdom to talk about Saudi Aramco's IPO, it certainly was an eventful year on the pages of Arab News.

King Salman extends Saudi National Day break to Monday

Saudi Arabia's King Salman gave Saudis across the Kingdom some very welcome news when he ordered a one day extension to the National Day break back in September 2018.

ExxonMobil close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s

The US energy giant ExxonMobil announced it was close to hitting huge oil reserves near the Pakistan-Iran border, which were reported to be even bigger than the Kuwaiti reserves, in August 2018.

Frenchman commits suicide in Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mosque in Makkah

Tragedy struck in June last year when a Frenchman committed suicide by throwing himself off the roof of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah.

41 job types designated as Saudi-only

Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmed bin Suleiman Al-Rajhi issued a decree back in December to limit work in 41 fields in Madinah to Saudi men and women. The ruling kicked into action earlier this month on April 7.

Mariah Carey wows fans in Saudi Arabia with her first concert in the Kingdom

Earlier this year, Mariah Carey took the stage in Saudi Arabia to become the highest profile international artist to perform in the Kingdom since the easing of restrictions on entertainment. What an electric night of music it was too...

US universities honor Saudi students who died trying to rescue kids

In September 2018, two Saudi students in the US died trying to save two young children from drowning and were awarded posthumous honorary degrees from the universities they were attending after their bravery came to light.

Al-Falih confirms Saudi Aramco IPO expected within two years 

The much-anticipated stock market launch of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, was announced to be taking place within two years, Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, said back in March.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with Prince Alwaleed, discuss role of private sector under Vision 2030​

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and discussed the private sector's future and role in the success of Vision 2030 back in July 2018.

An Arab affair: Trump daughter falls for Lebanese billionaire heir

It was said that US President Donald Trump would have to think twice before speaking politics at the dinner table once it was reported that his daughter Tiffany was dating Lebanese business heir Michael Boulos.

Netflix to roll out cheaper mobile-only plan for India

Updated 18 July 2019

Netflix to roll out cheaper mobile-only plan for India

  • India is among the last big growth markets for the company
  • Netflix faces competition from Amazon’s Prime Video and Walt Disney Co’s Hotstar
Netflix said on Wednesday it would roll out a lower-priced mobile-only plan in India within the next three months to tap into a price-sensitive market at a time the streaming company is losing customers in its home turf.
India is among the last big growth markets for the company, where it faces competition from Inc’s Prime Video and Hotstar, a video streaming platform owned by Walt Disney Co’s India unit.
Netflix lost US streaming customers for the first time in eight years on Wednesday, when it posted quarterly results. It also missed targets for new subscribers overseas.
“India is a mobile-first nation, where many first-time users are experiencing the Internet on their phones. In such a scenario, a mobile-only package makes sense to target new users,” said Tarun Pathak, analyst at Counterpoint Research.
The creator of “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” said in March that it was testing a 250-rupee ($3.63) monthly subscription for mobile devices in India, where data plans are among the cheapest in the world.
The country figures prominently in Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings’ global expansion plans.
“We believe this plan, which will launch in the third quarter, will be an effective way to introduce a larger number of people in India to Netflix and to further expand our business,” the company said in a letter to investors released late on Wednesday.
Netflix currently offers three monthly plans in India, priced between 500 rupees ($7.27) and 800 rupees $11.63).
It has created a niche following in the country by launching local original shows like the thriller “Sacred Games” and dystopian tale “Leila,” which feature popular Bollywood actors.
The second season of “Sacred Games” is set to release in August.
In contrast, Hotstar, which also offers content from AT&T Inc’s HBO and also streams live sports, charges 299 rupees ($4.35) per month. Amazon bundles its video and music streaming services with its Prime membership.
“We’ve been seeing nice steady increases in engagement with our Indian viewers that we think we can keep building on. Growth in that country is a marathon, so we’re in it for the long haul,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said.