Yahoo! Middle East (aka Maktoob) announced a new partnership with Rotana Media Services, the world’s largest producer of Arabic music and key distributor of movies, allowing Yahoo! to use and stream Rotana’s wide range of multimedia content, including music, videos, movies, concerts, TV channels and radio, to the Arabic speaking world.
The announcement published via AMEinfo yesterday mentioned Yahoo!’s “new Video Network channel for the Arabic speaking world” that as far as we know doesn’t exist. We inquired about this service but no one from Yahoo! Maktoob has answered us yet, we’ll keep you posted once they do.
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This either mean’s their going to add an Arabic channel in their video network collection currently only providing content in English, or rebrand the existing Maktoob Clipat network which has been successfully serving user uploaded Arabic music videos online for almost 3 years now.
Ever since Yahoo!’s acquisition of Maktoob back in 2009 it has become a global online Arabic media destination improving on other services already provided by the massive network Maktoob has already been developing over the past decade or so.
Rotana Media Services owned by Saudi royalty Al-Waleed bin Talal is the Arab world’s largest entertainment company, which contains Rotana Records (a high profile record label which has signed more than 100 high profile Arab artists), a film production company, magazine, television and music channels (Rotana Radio).
With this deal the region’s media giant has secured an effective alternative distribution channel for it’s content, which it’s been attempting to provide ever since the launching (and ongoing development) of their revamped and polished new portal Rotana.net.
This strategic agreement will also enable Yahoo! to roll out a number of added-value services for Rotana and end users such as mobile-friendly content, advertising content management, and an enhanced IPTV offering, amongst others.
Rotana appears to be taking a large portion of it’s business development towards the online user in the Middle East by providing multiple distribution alternatives in addition to some strategic alliances from Middle East players such as LINKonLINE with their portal Shofha.com, the region’s first official online movie purchasing portal.
This presents an interesting opportunity for Rotana to reach a broader audience that with Yahoo! being a global player, in addition to Rotana’s global media stakeholders such as News Corporation which could mean a diversified content offering for Yahoo! to display as well.