Disney+ (DIS.N) started its streaming service in the Middle East and North Africa on Wednesday. The company is trying to get a share of the market in a region where most people are young but not many people use streaming services yet.

Disney+ said that it was now available in 16 Arab countries and that it was adapting its content for the region. For example, most of its content, especially popular content, now has Arabic subtitles.

Digital TV Research says that Netflix is the leader in the region right now, with more than 6.8 million subscribers. Starzplay, a competitor based in Abu Dhabi, is in second place with just under 2 million. Amazon is in third place with 1.4 million.

Some competitors offer content written in Arabic. “Al Rawabi School for Girls” and “Finding Ola” two of Netflix’s most popular shows, are already in the process of making their second seasons.

Shahid, a streaming service run by MBC Group, has ordered an Arabic version of “The Office” a British comedy. The American legal drama “Suits” is shown in Arabic on OSN, a regional competitor.

OSN used to have the right to show original content from Disney+.

Last week, Starzplay’s CEO Maaz Sheikh told Reuters that the company is also making original Arabic content. He said that the region had a lot of room to grow because only 10% of people were streaming.

Digital TV Research thinks that by 2027, Netflix will have 11 million subscribers and Disney+ will have nearly 6.5 million, making it the number two service. By 2027, it is expected that Amazon will have 4.8 million subscribers and Starzplay will have just under 3 million.

At a pre-launch event for Disney+ at Dubai Opera, the Egyptian director of Marvel Studios’ “Moon Knight” Mohamed Diab, talked about the original superhero show, which is making its debut in the region.

Sarah Goher, who is married to him, was also a producer on the show, which is about gods from ancient Egypt.

Source: Reuters

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