Original shows give Netflix image boost in UAE, Egypt

Arabic Netflix show Justice is filmed in Abu Dhabi. (Supplied)
Updated 14 May 2019
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Original shows give Netflix image boost in UAE, Egypt

  • Consumers in the UAE and Egypt have responded “positively” to Netflix’s original content
  • Programs made by streaming giant Netflix have boosted its image in two key Middle East markets

LONDON: Shows made by streaming giant Netflix have boosted its image in two key Middle East markets, according to a survey by YouGov.
Consumers in the UAE and Egypt have responded “positively” to Netflix’s original content, the polling firm said in a statement.
“YouGov’s daily brand tracker, BrandIndex, shows how the celebrated streaming company is reaping the rewards of its expansion into the Middle East,” YouGov said.
In the UAE, two metrics that measure consumer sentiment — “buzz,” which measures whether residents have heard something positive or negative about the brand, and “word of mouth,” highlighting the increased chatter among consumers — rose earlier this year in connection to Netflix.
“It seems like the company’s strategy of launching original and localized content in the UAE seems to be winning already,” YouGov said.
“News regarding launches of locally-produced content, for example the worldwide launch of the first Middle Eastern drama series ‘Justice,’ is also likely contributing to uplifts in positive Buzz around the brand. ‘Justice’ which is based in Abu Dhabi, launched mid-January 2019, in line with the steady increase in ‘buzz’ received by Netflix in the UAE.”
There was and “equally positive” increase in consumer sentiment in Egypt, according to the YouGov tracker.
“It is apparent that any time Netflix launches high-profile original content, residents in the UAE and Egypt respond positively,” YouGov said.
“The well-received diversified content the region is receiving goes hand-in-hand with Netflix’s plan to invest in the Middle East, including producing content to be shared worldwide. As YouGov data shows, at this point the strategy seems to be working for the company.”
Netflix launched in the Middle East in 2016. A senior executive at the firm told Arab News last year that it plans to boost production in the region following the announcement of its first Arabic “originals” production in 2018.
“It won’t take long — over the next couple of years expect a couple more to come in and it to ramp up,” Todd Yellin, vice president of product at Netflix, said in April last year.


Two journalists released in Libya: TV channel

Updated 25 May 2019
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Two journalists released in Libya: TV channel

  • The capital’s southern suburbs have been the target of an offensive launched April 4 by Khalifa Haftar
  • The release of the television journalists followed local and international condemnation of their detention

TRIPOLI: Two Libyan journalists held by an armed group for more than three weeks have been released, the television channel they work for said Saturday.
“We congratulate the press world for the release of our two colleagues, Mohamad Al-Gurj and Mohamad Al-Chibani, who were kidnapped by Haftar’s forces on May 2 while they were covering the assault on Tripoli,” said the private channel Libya Al-Ahrar, which is based in Turkey.
It said they were freed on Friday.
The capital’s southern suburbs have been the target of an offensive launched April 4 by Khalifa Haftar, military strongman of an eastern administration aimed at seizing Tripoli from an internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
At least 510 people have been killed and around 2,500 wounded in the fighting, as well as more than 80,000 displaced, according to UN agencies.
The release of the television journalists followed local and international condemnation of their detention, including from media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
In a press freedom index compiled by RSF, Libya ranks a lowly 162nd out of 180 countries.