Five minutes with Patrick Tillieux, CEO of OSN Five minutes with Patrick Tillieux, CEO of OSN
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Five minutes with Patrick Tillieux, CEO of OSN

Five minutes with Patrick Tillieux, CEO of OSN

Over the last 18 months, OSN have produced new content, launched a revamped platform, forged new partnerships and entered new markets

Patrcik Tillieux_CEO_ OSN

How has the year been so far for OSN?

There is little doubt that the impact of 2020 has left many industries reeling. For OSN, we are reaping the rewards of our bold investment and shrewd strategic planning over the past 18 months. We have invested in our people, our technology and our programming. We have produced new content, launched a revamped platform, forged new partnerships and entered new markets. The opportunities we have taken have paid off tenfold.

Today, over two decades since inception, we are a leading entertainment hub in the region. Existing customers are accessing our content more than ever before. We continue to listen to our viewers, understand their evolving needs, and address their technological gripes. A 200 per cent increase in newcomers in few months is a testament to our customer centricity.

Our dedication to continue to serve this growing base of viewers across the region has maintained momentum in light of our recent success. We are passionate to deliver the very best in class viewing experience, especially with the recently announced revamped streaming platform. For OSN, it means we can make changes to the app instantaneously staying at the forefront of our game.

The only way to remain ahead in this highly competitive landscape is to not only keep up with existing needs, but anticipate new ones. This is how we managed to achieve more than five million downloads of our streaming platform, with fourteen times the level of engagement and seven times more paid streaming subscribers. To answer your question, the numbers evidence it has been an incredibly successful 12 months.

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The pandemic led to a massive growth in demand for streaming platforms. Do you think that trend is here to stay?

It was inevitable, with less for people to go out, the more they were going to watch while they are in. What has really turned the industry on its head is the stance adopted by content creators, the big boys of film, the billion dollar production houses. To them, streaming platforms took on a new identity, they were now attracted to what they once snubbed. OTT was no longer an archive for old movies. We became a golden gateway to people’s homes, screens and devices, wherever they were. Streaming platforms had evolved, and taken on a new look. Now OTT became a shiny, lucrative outlet to achieve scale. So, whether or not people go back to the big screen, content creators cannot ignore the opportunity OTT gives them to achieve mass viewership.


The region has seen a rise in streaming platforms – how do you compete and stand out?

At OSN our focus is to provide a steady stream of coveted quality content. Through a combination of first to platform western content, and an investment to increase Arabic content to 25 per cent of our portfolio, a leveraging a mix of reality and drama productions we look forward to catering to the diverse needs of our audience.

OSN’s newly launched platform, adopting a modular hybrid approach, leveraging innovative technology to drive agility and ensure adaptability is a perfect foundation from which to explore partnerships. We can quickly and instantaneously implement changes, which means embarking on collaborations is now quicker, and easier, than ever before.

In terms of content, which are the areas seeing most demand from UAE consumers?

Genre trends have always been a major focus when curating content at OSN. We have seen an uptake in consumption when it comes to content that falls under the drama genre, and specifically medical dramas, crime dramas and fantasy/sci-fi dramas.

On the Arabic side of series, Turkish content dubbed in Arabic have dominated the charts. Additionally, we have brought the successful western formula of crime drama mini series to the Arab world with our first scripted original production, Qayd Majhoul, that performed extraordinary well tapping into the life struggles that people from the levant region can go through.

Kids & Family adventure movies have been topping the charts when it comes to movie viewership. OSN has pushed movies in this category bringing movies straight from the cinema for families to enjoy at home, most recently the Disney movie Raya and the Last Dragon.

Marvel movies are of course an incredibly popular genre, with legions of loyal fans across the region. The plot connectivity and crossover between movies and series means that fans are always on the lookout for a go to destination for all their Marvel content.

What kind of a role do partnerships and collaborations play in boosting your reach?

Partnerships have always been a key catalyst for growth. This is not new. Telcos, banks, e-commerce and digital commerce platforms all present opportunities that we pursued to market penetration and growth as OTT providers vie for a more solid stake.

We are always on the lookout for organic partnerships, ones that deliver an enhanced experience for our viewers, with a seamless integration without deviation from their comfort zones. For example, entertainment and enjoying treats go hand in hand, so our recent partnership with Magnum was an organic one.

Given our regional position of strength, we also recently tapped into gaming, a core area of interest for our viewers. Our ground-breaking partnership with PUBG Mobile was a regional first, marking another milestone as we continue to explore collaborative synergies for our brand, our partners and our viewers.

To maintain our position as the leading regional entertainment hub, we are exploring innovative partnerships that will provide a key launchpad for OSN. Whether it is with gaming, music, or retail, one factor remains consistent, a rigorous selection process to ensure our viewers reap the rewards of these partnerships.

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