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Iflix continues expansion after signing JV to launch into Middle East and North Africa

Iflix has expanded into the Middle East after signing a joint venture with a local telco to create iflix Arabia.

The Malaysia streaming firm, which has long plotted expansion to the region, has joined forces with Zain in a move that will take Iflix content to  Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

Further expansion into other Middle East and North Africa markets is expected after the initial services go live in the second quarter of 2017.

John-Paul McKerlie

Iflix Arabia will be based in Dubai and be led by Zain’s former group consumer marketing director John-Paul McKerlie.

“The teaming of Zain and iflix has empowered both businesses with the capacity to offer customers the most incredible content services,” McKerlie said.

“A great mix of local and international catalogues will reach audiences using Zain’s leading networks, guaranteeing the best speeds for streaming and user experience, bringing even more content to customers and enhancing their viewing experience.”

Iflix co-founder and group chief executive, Mark Britt, described  Zain as a “true pioneer in innovation” which has a “deep understanding of the culture and evolution of digital businesses”.

“This collaboration represents an exciting step in iflix’s growth story as we launch in the MENA region with a partner who shares our vision and commitment to deliver an outstanding service and create awesome experiences for our customers,” he said,

Iflix said the launch will enable it to tap into Zain’s 47m customers and capitalise on the region’s large youth population, rapidly growing internet and smartphone penetration and increasing demand for digital content.

Zain Group vice chairman Bader Al Kharafi said Iflix Arabia will provide the firm with new revenue streams.

He heralded the deal as a “monumental step forward” for Zain in its quest to become a “premier digital lifestyle provider in the MENA region”.

The launch of Iflix Arabia comes soon after the launch into Pakistan, its ninth market.

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