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SVoD provider Alchemiya on track for Southeast Asian launch

| 15/02/2018 | Reply

It is just like the Blue Moon that has recently been seen around the world. There are times when there is an alignment of conditions that present unique opportunities for those who are in position to take advantage of them.

The ways that we watch TV and films, and all the related business models, are going through profound disruptive shifts. A convergence of specific market dynamics has created a window of opportunity for niche content providers to access global audiences.

There are five major components to this alignment:

  1. How Islam is represented across global media

  2. Expansion across all Islamic economy sectors

  3. The positive impact of Muslim Millennials

  4. Data surpasses voice as a revenue stream for mobile operators

  5. Streaming Video-on-Demand (SVOD) is going mobile.

This convergence presents a near-perfect alignment for Alchemiya, the London-based SVoD provider, that specialises in high quality content for discerning Muslim audiences, and Millennials in particular. And Mobile Operators in Southeast Asia provide the ideal platform to launch Alchemiya’s new app-based service, and to offer their content to mobile subscribers in Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

  1. The Image of Islam

Mainstream media’s insistence on portraying Islam as a threat has profound repercussions that affect all of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. It is not a true picture. For over 1400 years, Islam has been a creative civilising force for good, across the sciences, the arts, commerce, creativity, spiritual knowledge and personal and social development. It is now high time for these contributions, in all their colour and diversity, to be made accessible for all to see. Here is an opportunity to change the global perception of Islam.

  1. The Growing Islamic Economy

The past decade has seen unprecedented growth, innovation and investment across all Islamic Economy sectors…Halal food and Islamic Finance are now both valued as trillion dollar markets, and family-friendly travel and modest fashion are valued at several hundred billion dollars each. However, although valued at $190 billion, the ‘Muslim-friendly’ media & recreation sector has seen the least activity in terms of innovation and investment. And while Muslims make up over 25% of the world’s population, this sector only accounts for around 5% of the global total spend. There is clearly an opportunity for massive growth here, by tapping into an underserved market.[1]

  1. The Expanding Muslim Middle Class

A new emerging middle class is making its presence felt, both in the Muslim-majority countries, and among the influential diaspora communities around the world, especially in the West. Young, educated, opinionated, globally connected, socially aware, they see no conflict between faith and consumerism – on the contrary, their faith informs which goods and services they purchase. With growing disposable income, these Muslim millennials are now considered to be one of the most influential demographics, whose impact will be felt across multiple markets and regions in the immediate future.

  1. Data Becomes Main Revenue Source for Mobile Operators

In 2015, mobile data traffic almost doubled; in 2016, data became the highest source of revenue for Mobile Operators, leaving them hungry for new data streaming content to offer their subscribers. By 2020, 50% of all video will be viewed on mobile devices. Google predict that Southeast Asia’s internet economy will become the global leader by the end of 2018, passing $50 billion, and rising to $200 billion by 2025. Home to the world’s largest and youngest Muslim population, 90% of the region’s internet users use smartphones to go online. This is Alchemiya’s primary target market.[2]

  1. Streaming Video On Demand (SVOD) is the future of TV

By 2013, SVOD became the leader in non-linear, or ‘over the top’ (OTT) TV viewing, overtaking advertising, rental and download-to-own revenue models. Its continuing popularity and suitability to the digital age is expected to generate 50% of all OTT revenues by 2022. And while this market has traditionally been led by North American audiences, the Asia Pacific region is on track to overtake the USA to become the leading SVOD market.[3]

The convergence of these dynamic market forces offers a unique opportunity for Alchemiya, which sits right at the heart of these five dynamics.

As has been pointed out in the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2017/18, “But despite an increasingly diverse media environment, Halal Media and Recreation, especially television, has not diversified enough…the content is focused more on sermons and Quranic recitation than providing content that may have wider appeal.”

This is really one of the keys to success: in terms of content, it cannot be overtly religious. Well-produced engaging content has a broader appeal than just to Muslim audiences. People want to know and understand this faith, and the ability to make programmes that can cross this divide will inevitably attract a wider audience. This diversity of content, significantly, is also what appeals to the Muslim Millennial demographic; they are already globally engaged with life beyond their immediate environment, culture and family. Muslim Millennials are global citizens with strong faith and equally firm opinions, and are, according to the Ogilvy & Mather Velocity 12 Report, “disproportionally influential, shaping the culture of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims, and by extension, global consumer trends…The countries with the largest young Muslim populations are among those nations that are leading global economic growth.”

Former Ogilvy & Mather CEO, Miles Young went even further… “So if we ask what the future is going to look like in this new middle-class world, it’s going to be Muslim, it’s going to be female, and it’s going to be urban.”

As Alchemiya CEO Navid Akhtar commented, “It’s important to diversify and reach a mainstream audience – that’s what we’ve done at Alchemiya.”[4] A deal is under discussion with Axiata, one Southeast Asia’s largest Telecommunications groups, to offer Alchemiya’s content via mobile apps to some 90 million subscribers in Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. To accomplish this, Alchemiya are have recently launched a new funding campaign on Crowdcube, offering equity in Alchemiya.

Finally, to complete the earlier quote from the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2017, “Yet with Muslim spend on media and entertainment growing year-on-year, reaching $198 billion in 2016, and forecast to reach $281 billion by 2022, Halal Media and recreation will continue to attract investment on the back of a young and diverse Muslim population.”

[1] State of the Global Islamic Economy 2017-18, Thompson Reuters/DinarStandard

[2] Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media Report 2017

[3] Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media Report 2017

[4] State of the Global Islamic Economy 2017-18, Thompson Reuters/DinarStandard

 

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Category: Alchemiya, Culture, Digital Economy, Film & TV

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