From original films and series, to new Arab content and award-winnning documentaries on Egypt, Joris Evers, Netflix vice president and head of communications for Europe, Middle East and Africa, gives us the lowdown on what to expect from the content streaming giant.
by Sherif Awad
What can we expect from Netflix in the coming months?
In addition to the original films and series we produce, we have recently acquired Arab content like the Emirati thriller Zenzana (Rattle the Cage) by Majid Al Ansari with Palestinian actor Ali Suliman and Saudi actress Ahd. Also, among our documentaries, we acquired the award-winning The Square by Jehane Noujaim. Recently, at the Cannes Film Festival last May, we acquired the new Lebanese film Divines by Houda Benyamina, winner of the Camera d’Or award for directorial debut.
How do you plan to manage with the competition? Egypt is also a cash-driven society. How will you collect the monthly subscription?
We are aware that in Egypt and other regions of the world there are obviously competitive services, satellite or linear, that project the habits of TV viewers. We are also aware that we are still in the early days of internet TV. However, Netflix established prices point two years ago and so our customers can get a lot for not so much money ($9.99). Netflix also started to produce original content, which is available to all viewers worldwide in countries like Brazil, Korea and Spain in order to overcome the constraints of rights when acquiring from other film and TV producers. We might also think of other alternative ways of receiving payment - right now it is via Paypal or credit cards - according to the region where we are operating.[caption id="attachment_521463" align="alignnone" width="620"] Joris Evers[/caption]
How will Netflix overcome possible censorship in the Middle East?
Internet TV is different than broadcast because it is fully on demand, meaning any subscriber has the right to choose what to view, when to view it and on which platform. From its side, Netflix tries to provide information about any content like age classification and genre. This way the subscriber can know what to expect when selecting a TV show or a film. On Netflix interface, each family member can create his own profile with his favorite shows in addition to creating a specific profile for kids in the house.
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As soon as you sign up via your PC or tablet, you can enjoy a one-month free trial so you can check out the service.
Arabic subtitles are available to Egyptian viewers.
Netflix usually posts full seasons of newly produced shows like Daredevil, based on Marvel’s comics, and Scream, based on Wes Craven’s horror film series. Viewers can choose to watch all the episodes back to back.
According to Variety, the list of most viewed Netflix shows includes: Sense8, Orphan Black, The 100, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, The Fall, Orange Is the New Black, Nurse Jackie, Hemlock Grove, Marco Polo, Breaking Bad and Grace & Frankie.
Netflix tracks your viewing habits and so if you like to watch comedies for instance, Netflix will suggest comedies for you or other films or shows featuring the same cast or crew.