Entertainment, like most aspects of our technology-controlled reality, is being impacted and shaped rapidly by the advancement and emergence of new technologies. Platforms are being continually updated and customized to attract subscribers on the lookout for original, captivating, and powerful content fine-tuned to meet their ever-changing tastes. Whilst the Media and Entertainment market is geared for double-digit growth over the coming years, with global industry revenues projected to reach $792.3 billion by 2022, the COVID-19 outbreak has placed even further pressure on digital entertainment providers to speed-up their offerings and supply viewers with quality content options.
In Saudi Arabia, where an ambitious digital transformation plan is being pursued, the Kingdom is emerging as a regional digital hub, with a multitude of opportunities for foreign and local investors. MENA’s leading digital entertainment pioneer, Intigral has already positioned itself as an innovator and major adopter of modern technologies. From the outset, Intigral has invested significantly in the potential of the digital entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia, and has pursued a unique strategy to seize this opportunity.
Intigral’s flagship product, Jawwy TV, is regarded as the first OTT provider in MENA to present a hybrid solution that combines both OTT services, covering linear TV and on-demand content, and investments in quality original productions, making it both a content distributor and production house. The value proposition of Jawwy TV is to provide an affordable viewing experience to both smartphone users and households across MENA with a comprehensive OTT platform that offers a seamless viewing experience and broad content portfolio, aggregating content from across the region and further afield from around the world. In this context, it is also one of the first regional services to combine live and VOD content from providers into one easily accessible platform. Beyond high-quality streaming, Intigral leverages cutting-edge solutions emerging from the digital entertainment industry and in keeping with the Vision 2030-aligned strategies aimed at positioning the Saudi media and entertainment industry for further growth.
In light of the ever-evolving customer demand patterns, and increasing business operating pressures, media enterprises are opting for cloud-based solutions. Cloud based solutions offer scalable computing capabilities that underpin on-demand services while supporting the development of new business models that accommodate fragmented audiences.
Powered by its cloud-based platform, Jawwy TV features high-performance streaming with scalable deployment offering increased flexibility to its customers. As such, the cloud enables Jawwy TV to expand its existing library frequently and rapidly, supporting its ongoing production of original content and allowing it to offer efficient solutions to viewers, such as multi-screen viewing and high quality streaming with minimal latency.
Intigral additionally utilizes data analytics to optimize performance which improves the understanding of customers’ needs and behavioral trends in order to deliver more tailored viewing experiences while ensuring maximized performance.
Catching up with disruptive AI
One major technology impacting today’s world is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in this emerging technology with $135.2 billion going towards the development and adoption of AI. Additionally, a royal decree issued last year mandated the establishment of the Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence and the creation of the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and the National Data Management Office.
In the digital entertainment realm, AI supports the advanced analysis of consumers’ behavior trends, inclinations, and preferences enabling enterprises to make smart decisions leading to increased levels of customized offerings for viewers and a deeper engagement, thus contributing to higher satisfaction and improved perception of an entertainment service. Most content recommendations on Intigral’s Jawwy TV are curated individually for each user based on their viewing activity, enabling Intigral to deliver a personalized experience based on their preferred content.
On another level, AI also allows for a seamless, cohesive, and efficient production process with reduced production times and cost, saving production entities valuable resources while guiding their decisions towards producing targeted viewer inspired content. AI offers multiple tools for back-end media operations as production companies utilize AI algorithms to automate audio/video synchronization, language translation, among many other applications. Additionally, AI-based functions, including the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are shifting consumption patterns by making for a mesmerizing, individualistic viewing experience.
One word: Blockchain
Although still in the nascent stage for digital entertainment, Blockchain technology will provide multiple benefits for media and entertainment companies. The innovative distributed ledger facility could help the media and entertainment industry control piracy, slash costs, and promote the security of digital artworks.
As Intigral currently offers content catering to viewers in the GCC, Egypt, and Lebanon, and releases original content once a month on average, the company’s strategy is focused on adopting the distributed ledger technology to drive more automation across its platforms and enhance its operational efficiency.
Ready to roll!
The roll out of 5G networks will be a key enabler for the expansion of digital media and entertainment services by providing higher bandwidth required to support their streaming requirements. It is estimated that around 12% of all smart mobile devices sold globally in 2020 will be 5G- enabled, which means more users will be watching more content of higher quality on the go.
As 5G penetration levels increase across the Kingdom, it will make an impact on all aspects of digital entertainment through offering rapid transmission speeds (up to 100 times faster than 4G), and allowing users to download an HD movie in just a few seconds rather than minutes as a couple of immediate advantages. Intigral, supported by stc which is playing a leading role in the deployment of 5G across the Kingdom, Bahrain and Kuwait, will lead to an increased viewing experience of JawwyTV for its customers.
While such technology updates pose a disruption and challenge for media and entertainment providers, Intigral sees them as a major opportunity to embrace new trends and technological advancements both for production and distribution purposes. Intigral seeks to become the leader in the MENA digital entertainment sector through offering unmatched products and services with advanced capabilities and features to its customers. It also aspires to seize the support provided by the Kingdom’s leadership towards the development and integration of advanced technologies by continually developing new and state-of-the-art entertainment offerings.
Although many of these technologies are still in their early stages of development, Intigral realizes the significance of being a first mover and preparing itself for new advances before they become mainstream. This progressive mindset and approach ultimately positions Intigral as a key contributor towards revitalizing the Saudi media and entertainment sector, a main pillar of the ambitious Saudi Vision 2030.
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