Online Streaming in Iraq
Back in the very early days of the Internet in Iraq (early 2000s), Iraqis did not have the patience to sit through a 15 minute YouTube video, so video streaming websites were never popular. Today however, things are changing. A better Internet connection is giving Iraqis a wide range of on demand streaming websites.
Some of the most popular on demand entertainment websites in Iraq are:
According to Alexa a website powered by Amazon, YouTube is the second most visited website in Iraq. Through YouTube, Iraqis are not only playing videos but are also sharing their own clips to the world. Entertainers like Bashir from the Bashir show, and the team at Welayat Batex (Melon City Show) are broadcasting their shows through their Youtube channels.
Shadhid.net is a website powered by MBC, it is the first free on demand TV service in the MENA region. According to the Socialbakers, Iraq comes in second to Egypt with its number of fans of Shahid.net (1,125,879). Through the website users can watch all the shows that are viewed on the MBC channels anytime they please.
3. OSN Play:
This service is limited to subscribers to the OSN set top box, but nonetheless it offers high quality media streaming to its subscribers. Subscribers may view the content on the website anytime they please.
The hugely successful entertainment service from the U.S. has been available in Iraq since January of 2016. Netflix is available to a very wide range of countries around the world. In fact according to Brian Stelter who wrote for the CNN “It's easiest to list the countries where Netflix is not available”.
Netflix offers a total of 2029 shows for the Iraqi audience, which is increasing by the week. This number places Iraq in the list of top 40 countries with the widest range of Netflix shows available to them.
Lara Saeed is a graduate of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. She holds a BA degree in English Literature. During her four years in university, she was a staff writer for AUIS Voice, the first independent on campus newsletter in Iraq. When she is not busy reading, writing, or editing Lara likes to… read.