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Saudi Vision 2030 accelerates growth for the Kingdom’s digital entertainment sector

Saudi Vision 2030 accelerates growth for the Kingdom’s digital entertainment sector

By : Markus Golder, Chief Executive Officer at Intigral

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is making major strides towards fulfilling its Saudi Vision 2030’s three major themes of creating a vibrant society, enabling a prosperous economy, and achieving an ambitious nation. Just a few years since the vision was unveiled, Saudi Arabia was at the global forefront of several industries. Non-oil revenues grew by a whopping 122% between 2015 and 2020, and assets by the Public Investment Fund almost doubled to $400 billion between 2017 and 2020.

Countless initiatives were launched across sectors both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, significantly mitigating the repercussions of the crisis. On the digital economy front, Saudi Arabia became the world’s most digitally competitive nation amongst the G20 nations according to the World Economic Forum’s Digital Competitiveness Index and attained the global leadership position for 5G connectivity speeds worldwide.

The entertainment sector, in particular, played and continues to play, a major role in Vision 2030’s roadmap. Official figures from the Ministry of Investment predict the increase of household spending on local entertainment by 6.0% to create an 8$ billion market that will be the main contributor to the Kingdom’s diversified and robust GDP. The Kingdom’s revolutionary digital transformation is fueling forward-thinking initiatives in the digital entertainment arena where enterprises in the sector are benefitting from direct investments in digitization, including the rollout of high-speed broadband network, and more than $879.8 million allocated to support the sector’s projects, according to the Oxford Business Group.

Over the past few years, the number of companies operating in the entertainment industry has more than doubled to more than 1,000, generating over 100K+ jobs by the end of 2020. According to Television Business International, the Kingdom’s OTT market is thriving and leads the industry with the biggest share of subscriptions at 33%.

As a leading provider of digital entertainment in the Kingdom, Intigral is harnessing the industry’s massive potential and taking the reins to grow beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia. With regional and even international growth aspirations in mind, Intigral’s vision to become the number one OTT player across MENA is gradually materializing as it expands Jawwy TV to key markets in MENA including Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and the Sultanate of Oman. Intigral also recently extended Jawwy TV’s accessibility to platforms such as Apple TV and Android TV streaming devices, and signed partnerships with premier global content providers including StarzPlay, OSN, and Discovery+, to name a few.

The company additionally received critical acclaim for its numerous original content titles that delighted viewers everywhere and elevated the Saudi production scene through offering invaluable opportunities to local talents including artists, producers, actors, and directors. Since July 2019, Intigral has produced and broadcasted 17 original shows for Jawwy TV which contributed to 22% of the total 2020 Arabic Original Output, as per the data intelligence platform VYND.IO.

By aligning their strategies with the Kingdom’s ambitious digital entertainment roadmap, home-grown digital entertainment providers are increasing their contribution to Saudi Vision 2030’s goal of fostering a full-fledged ecosystem that supports creativity and promotes and fosters the production of local content. With this supportive environment, the industry is set to flourish and continue to grow over the coming years.

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