DISCOP MENA 2019 will be held from Sunday 15 to Tuesday 17 December and take place in Cairo, Egypt - the crossroad between the Middle East and North Africa. The 3-day B2B gathering is scaled to welcome 1,500+ international delegates ready to buy, sell and coproduce multiscreen film, television and digital entertainment content, and is specifically focused on the MENA region.
Thanks to a population of nearly 400 million people and younger generation's ever-growing online presence, significant opportunities exist today in this part of the world for both global entertainment brands and local content producers ready to feed a growing appetite for homegrown programs.
DISCOP MENA 2019 will combine a market driven by pre-organized meetings, screenings of upcoming shows, pitch sessions centered on projects in development and a conference program specifically tailored for independent producers. The gathering is conveniently scheduled to take place four months before the next Ramadan Month starting on 23 April 2020, giving Buyers plenty of time to select and commit to fresh content presented at the market.
DISCOP MENA 2019 will welcome the United Arab Emirates as ‘Guest Country’, one of the leading content production centers in the Arabic-speaking world. The event will take place at the Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center, Egypt’s leading business events venue that's adjacent to the city’s bustling central business district.
21 OCTOBER | Start day for Meetings Organization Assistance
31 OCTOBER | Exhibit Booking deadline
Reasons to attend Discop MENA
Reason #1 - The MENA region is in hyper-growth mode
DISCOP MENA targets a media and entertainment marketplace that's considered one of the world’s fastest growing. It has experienced some dynamic changes in the last few months and the industry will soon become a thriving contributor to the region’s economy with its diverse and distinctive creative voice. There are currently close to 1,000 Free to Air TV Channels in MENA, 75% of which originate from the region. There are also 275+ premium satellite / cable TV channels, half of which are produced in MENA. On top of linear broadcasters, there are over 20 OTT platforms servicing the region, and several Telcos with an independent VOD or IPTV services. That’s close to 1,000 finished programs and adaptation rights-buying entities seeking fresh content inside the MENA region.
The impact of younger, more digital audiences on the media landscape evolution in the region is very clear: MENA digitization is ahead of international trends, indicating that the audiences are already there waiting to be served.
Video-on-demand business grew at a rate that was six times faster than pay TV in 2018. Streaming platforms have taken off in the region with revenue reaching $523 million in 2018 – a 21% year-on-year increase, with about 33 million subscribers in 2018 – whereas pay TV subscriptions fell by 20%.
The shifting landscape will continue to create exciting opportunities for established players and new entrants alike in 2019 with much potential to be realized in populous markets such as Egypt and smaller wealthy markets such as the United Arab Emirates.
The biggest milestone of 2018 has been the inclusion of the Saudi Arabian market with a population of 30 million and plans to host 2,600 cinema screens by 2030. Total cinema revenue in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach $1.5 billion by then, according to recent research by PwC Middle East. Saudi Arabia’s support of its creative sectors under Vision 2030 will change the dynamics of the entertainment and media sector in the region.
Reason #2 - Egypt is the largest Arab-speaking country in the world
With nearly 100,339,737 million people (as of 15 Jan 2019) and a geographic location that provides excellent access to other MENA countries, Egypt is the biggest single country in the region from a population perspective and the world's largest Arab-speaking nation. The country is rapidly evolving, especially in the last 2-3 years, and getting highly influenced by the global trends such as e-commerce, business entrepreneurship, media and fashion influencers, and brands lifestyle products.
Mobile phone penetration is up more than 130% and 85% of adults spend time online. As the economy recovers and consumer confidence picks up, so does advertising expenditure. Furthermore, Egypt's high-income youth is beginning to consume media in new ways, migrating online and towards social networks. There were 55 million internet users by mid-2018 – over half of the population – and Egypt leads Northern Africa and the Middle East in terms of Facebook users with nearly 40 million accounts.
Egypt has one of the most established and influential entertainment and media industries in the MENA region, supplying much of the Arab-speaking world with TV shows. Egyptian production companies delivered the majority of the Arab world’s television series in 2018, which aired for the first time. Drama proves to be the most popular type of programming. ‘Secret of the Nile’, the first Arabic drama series available on NETFLIX, was produced in Egypt. Television is the most popular medium. There are two state-run national TV stations and six regional ones. Close to 100 private networks emerged in the last few years.
Egypt is also a big force in satellite TV. Most leading Pay-Tv networks have a presence there and Egypt was the first Arab nation to have its own satellite, NILESAT. Television remains the priciest medium for advertising with an audience that equates to 95% of the population on a weekly basis. Much of the expenditure is centered on drama series, reality shows, factual entertainment, talk shows and soap operas, which are very popular and have surpassed all other programs. Like everywhere else in the MENA region, the Ramadan month has historically been peak season for Egyptian television, commending the highest advertising rates.
20 Major Egyptian Broadcasters / Many with more than one TV Channel
Al Ghad Al Araby - Al Hayat Network - Al Kahira wal Nas - Al mahaba - Al Masriya - Al Masrawiya Movies - Al Mehwar - Al Nahar Network - Al Shark - Al Watan - CBC Network - DMC Network - Dream Network - ERTU Network - NILE TV network - ON-TV Network - Oscar TV - Panorama Network - Sada Al Balad Network - Star Cinema Network
Reason #3 - Widest selection of Arabic content and projects available under one roof
DISCOP MENA will bring under its roof for three days a wide and diverse selection of homegrown content and projects across all genres. The vast majority of MENA broadcasters are fiercely competing for market share in the region. They all have plans to prioritize their digital services as the video streaming competition heats up. They are ready to tap into the region's story reservoir and make major investments in locally produced programs to meet the increased demand fo more non-English language TV shows in the region.