STARZ Play announces the launch of its new STARZ Play service, a premium online video offering that claims to provide the latest US blockbuster movies and TV series immediately after they premiere in the US, along with a library of recent TV series, movies and children’s content.
STARZ Play marks the first time that Starz has extended its flagship STARZ brand in a service offering outside of the US. Starz currently serves more than 57 million subscribers in the US across its flagship STARZ and ENCORE premium pay TV services.
Maaz Sheikh, former chief sales and operations officer of a leading pay TV network in MENA, is the lead executive of STARZ Play and serves as its President.
Developed for the Middle East and North Africa markets, STARZ Play includes original programming offering more than 3,000 movies and TV series episodes for the equivalent of $13.99 a month, with a 30-day free trial, no monthly contractual obligations and no advertisements. The platform is available on PCs and Macs, iPhones, iPads, Android and other devices, with up to five devices registered per subscription and the ability to watch on any two at the same time, and easy parental control functions.
“This is the first time a STARZ-branded service has been launched outside of the United States,” says Chris Albrecht, Starz CEO in a press statement. “Taking the STARZ brand to these markets with the latest video distribution technology represents an innovative opportunity to grow the Starz business.”
Maaz Sheikh says, “STARZ Play has a unique opportunity to fill a market need and offer the growing Internet savvy population of the region the best in TV and movie content, with high-value anytime, anywhere convenience and control, at an affordable price point. We have aggregated a compelling collection of great original programming including STARZ Original series and movie content from around the world. Our content will be presented within the regions media guidelines and will be a showcase technologically, with a strong consumer value proposition.”
“We are very pleased with the prospects of Starz entering the MENA markets. STARZ Play is a compelling business opportunity to provide a high-quality STARZ Play service direct-to-consumers and, potentially, through incumbent video and telecommunications infrastructure providers as a must-have premium add-on,” says John Penney, chief strategy officer for Starz. “Starz will continue to be aggressive and innovative in leveraging its original programming portfolio to identify and establish new, global revenue growth opportunities for the company.”
Peter Ekelund, owner of Parsifal Entertainment Group, says, “I am very delighted to be partnering with Starz. We have assembled a strong STARZ Play management team with local expertise and the speed with which we have gone to market is testimony to this, we are ready to tap into the significant growth potential in these markets.”
STARZ Play debuts in 17 countries and territories throughout the region with a particular early marketing emphasis on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including: Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Other countries where the service is available include: Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia.