Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]
Cinemoz is one of the Middle East’s very first on-demand online video service. With an obvious comparison to Hulu, the service is set to officially launch by the end of summer.
Founded by 27 year old Lebanese-French Karim Safieddine, Cinemoz started out as a concept jotted down on a post-it-note. The service launched having secured the necessary funding with the help of Seeqnce, a Middle Eastern start-up catalyst based in Beirut.
With a private beta coming at the end of the summer, Cinemoz will be offering Arab films, TV series and documentaries, with a social networking twist, allowing you to share and rate what you’re watching on your social networks.
Interestingly enough, as Cinemoz is to be offered throughout the Arab world, the site will be tailored to suit each country it is offered in – so a GCC audience won’t necessarily be seeing exactly the same content as their Lebanese and Egyptian counterparts, for example.
Jordan-based Istikana is attempting to do the same thing – offer premium-based Arabic content to an online audience. Both Cinemoz and Istikana do face certain obstacles in the region, particularly in the site’s country of origin. Lebanon has one of the slowest Internet speeds in the world according to SpeedTest.net.
In a list of 172 countries, Lebanon clocks in at number 169, followed only by Iran, Malawi and Bolivia. Many other Middle Eastern countries don’t fare much better, with Sudan and Iraq also gracing the bottom of the list. The UAE, however, slips in to the list at 40, with an average download speed of 9.20mbps.
Lagging Internet speeds aside, sites like Cinemoz and Istikana have a bright future in the region as more people go online, searching for content targeting an Arabic speaking audience.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.