Google has its sights set squarely on Arabic television series viewers.
Through YouTube, Google will launch a new video streaming hub that will feature more than 500 of the most iconic Arabic television series, dating back to the 1960s. The name is straightforward: ' Mosalsalat ' is a hub with more than 7,000 hours of episodes, accessed by anyone at anytime. And it's completely free of charge.
"With launching Mosalsalat, we want users in the Middle East and North Africa to watch the best of Arabic television anytime they want," Zain Masri, marketing manager for Google Middle East and North Africa, said, according to Khaleej Times .
"These shows have made millions over the past 50 years laugh, cry, and rejoice. We are glad to have been able to digitize a part of the region's heritage"
About a year ago, YouTube launched a similar service for Arabic films called Aflam. The service currently has a library of more than 1,000 films spanning 70 years of production.
"The demand on Aflam was one of the reasons that inspired us to launch Mosalsalat. With over 1,000 subscribers, Aflam proved that the region is hungry for online streaming content," Masri said.
Of course, YouTube isn't the first to target an Arab audience with free video streaming. Lebanese startup Cinemoz, which launched in 2011, refers to itself as "the first premium Video On Demand platform for and from the Arab World."
Viewers can "watch, share, and discover all the best of Arab films, shorts and documentaries" through Cinemoz in a user and social media friendly way.