• Publication date: July 31, 2011

MBC Group re-launches Shahid.net, the biggest online TV library in the region

With 1 in 5 new visitors converting to regular daily users, Shahid experienced a +111% growth in monthly unique visitors in the first five months of 2011

With 1 in 5 new visitors converting to regular daily users, Shahid experienced a +111% growth in monthly unique visitors in the first five months of 2011

Dubai, July 31st, 2011: MBC Group has re-launched Shahid, the first free ” video-on-demand “ website in the region before Ramadan. It is the first website of its kind to provide series, programs, cartoons, documentaries from the content of MBC channels as well as other Arabic TV content. Launched with over 200 titles, the website offers prime time show programming, twenty six of which are new releases, which will debut in Ramadan and cover almost every genre, from comedy, to drama and religion.

Commenting on the launch, Abe Naga, Online Business Manager at MBC Group, said: ” Shahid is more than just a catch-up service, it is a target destination for premium video content “ Abe added: “We take pride in having the biggest online TV library in the region that hosts the most popular Arabic TV shows, animated series and documentaries, not to mention flagship Ramadan programs on MBC such as Bab El Hara, TASH, Khawater, as well as prominent Egyptian, Persian, Indian and Turkish series. We also plan to launch titles from studios such as HBO and Warner.”

Shahid.net attracted over 5 million visits during the month of Ramadan last year, and has since clocked up over 30 million visits, as 1 in 5 new visitors to the service convert to regular users. Shahid users in MENA, USA and Europe like what they see, and with 8 out of 10 returning daily, the service has seen a +111% year-on-year growth in average monthly unique visitors this year, so far (January – May 2011) - tracking well ahead of industry forecasts for the yearly growth in Internet users in MENA.

Abe added “Arabic being one of the fastest growing languages today, there is a demand for high quality Arabic content which Shahid delivers, while enhancing the TV viewing experience, facilitating TV everywhere, on every Internet-connected device consumers feel comfortable using…etc” This re-launch takes further cognizance of the evolving consumer media landscape by adding more functionality, content and a better user experience.”

More Facts about Shahid: (Source GfK-NOP Media / MBC Group)

 Shahid is the No.1 Arabic content TV catch-up service in theØ MENA region, with 33 million visits and over 60 million videos viewed since Ramadan 2010.

 Visits to Shahid are goal-focused and engaging: users come toØ Shahid in their leisure time – usually from home - to watch a particular show or TV series they have missed on television.

 Future usage intent is very high: the vast majority of usersØ intend to use Shahid more frequently in the coming year. Visitors newly converted to regular visitors intend to use Shahid even more frequently than current regular visitors.

 Shahid visitors are agreeable to advertising, stating thatØ they want to be “more entertained” by advertising relevant to them and the viewing experience.

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About MBC Group

MBC Group is the first private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab World which was launched in London in 1991 and later moved to its headquarters in Dubai in 2002. Over the past 20 years, MBC Group has grown to become a well-established media group that enriches people’s lives through information, interaction and entertainment. Based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, MBC Group includes 10 television channels: MBC1 (general family entertainment), MBC2 and MBC MAX (24-hour movies), MBC3 (children’s entertainment), MBC4 (entertainment for new Arab women), MBC Action (action series and movies), MBC Persia (24-hour movie channel dubbed in Farsi) , Al Arabiya (the 24-hour Arabic language news channel); Wanasah (24-hour Arabic music channel) and MBC DRAMA coinciding with the Group’s 20th anniversary, and offers 24/7 Arabic Drama; the Group also includes two radio stations: MBC FM (Gulf music), and Panorama FM (contemporary Arabic hit music); as well as O3 productions, a specialized documentary production unit. It has also several online platforms: www.mbc.net, www.alarabiya.net, and www.shahid.net, the first free VOD portal in the Arab world. Leading the new media market, MoBC is MBC’s service that includes SMS and MMS services, mobile applications, Mobile TV, video on demand and live streaming among others.