OSN Launches ASLI, A Platform For Regional Content Creators To Showcase Their Original Works

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PwC’s Entertainment and Media outlook 2014-2018 for the Middle East and Africa region states that digital advertising is all set to outpace revenue from traditional entertainment channels, and considers it imperative for companies “to apply a digital mindset to build the right behaviors to monetize the digital consumer.” With media groups across the region revamping their models to suit consumer preferences and such dominant industry trends, regional media company OSN is the latest to announce a strategic offering that is certain to encourage regional digital content creators.

OSN Newsroom
Martin Stewart, CEO, OSN

In a huge boost for the region's creative community, OSN has launched a localized, free, curated content publishing platform called ASLI during the just concluded Dubai International Film Festival 2017. According to a statement on the launch, ASLI (meaning genuine or original in Arabic and other regional languages) will go live in early 2018 through the company’s existing digital streaming platform WAVO, will be free for viewers, and is expected to feature new age content on the lines of those dominating MENA's web and social media in Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Turkish, and other regional languages. 

Speaking at a press launch, OSN CEO, Martin Stewart, said, “OSN is the region’s leading entertainment network. We have been ASLI for more than two decades, which is why we are deeply committed and fond of this region and its people, who like us, love great entertainment. As we strive to continue to reshape the entertainment landscape in this region, home to such amazing talent, it is with extreme pride and excitement that we now deliver ASLI, an online curated publishing platform, where content creators can license and showcase their unique work to reach a vast audience.”

Left to right: ASLI Producer Ismat Abidy, freelance filmmaker Faisal Hashmi, Halla Walla's Yasmine Rasool, OSN CEO Martin Stewart, and travel bloggers Jeff and Ann at the launch. Image credit: OSN.

OSN says that through ASLI platform, the network has now become “the first entertainment network in MENA” to offer an online medium for regional content creators to showcase their original works. “ASLI will champion short to medium-form content so that in one click, viewers will be able to enjoy diverse content across various genres including travel and culture, adventure and lifestyle comedy, music, art, audio podcasts, food and sports,” reads OSN’s statement on ASLI.

The ASLI content on WAVO will be subtitled in both Arabic and English, and the original works of local content creators thus stand a chance to be featured alongside global shows. The creators will retain the intellectual property rights and full creative control of their work. Launched earlier this year as the network’s over-the-top content (OTT) arm, WAVO offers subscribers in the region access to global hits including Westworld and Game of Thrones, along with popular Disney content. OSN also named some of the region’s existing content creators who will initially be featured including Peeta Planet, Punny Pun Times, Kerning Cultures, The Planet, What Doesn’t Suck, Waastaa / Halla Walla and The Scene Club.

Related: The Arabic-English Content Conundrum: Communicating To A Multilingual Market