Filmmaker Faisal Hashmi, Yasmine Rasool, Anne Mugnier and Jeff Johns. Image Credit: Supplied

OSN, the region’s leading entertainment network, has launched Asli (Arabic for original), a curated platform for licensed content, on the sidelines of the Dubai International Film Festival (Diff). Accessible for free by subscribers of Wavo, the network’s streaming platform, the new licensing ecosystem will allow creators to retain ownership of their content.

“We are the oldest network in the region. We have achieved that leading position by constantly looking at what customers across the region want, and by adapting and making sure we stay relevant to them,” said Martin Stewart, CEO of OSN.

Ismat Abidi, the producer of Asli, added: “We want to have world class content of the region to finally be in place where it deserves to be,” said. “We want to take great stories and put them on that level, and that is the next step for the media industry.”

Asli is the first curated short-form video platform in the region, and the network intends to expose content created in different languages, spoken by people in the region, with subtitles provided in both Arabic and English.

A panel discussion followed the announcement, which saw the first set of creators from OSN signing with Asli. Each side spoke about how such a platform is beneficial to them.

“We struggle a lot of times with branding partnerships to create our content, and it takes the focus away from our story,” said Jeff Johns, a travel vlogger, who signed with Asli. “Our main goal is to create inspiring travel content, that allows people to see the world. Any platform or any team that we can work with, is a win.”

Asli, also ensures a variety of content of different genres, and different formats, that are 30 seconds or longer.

“When creating content, we always keep in mind, the video format. Whether it is virtual content for Instagram, or short videos for Facebook,” said Anne Mugnier, another travel vlogger. “Such a platform helps keep the focus on the content only, rather than thinking of the format.”

OSN also revealed how creators are paid, depending on their content. A per-minute fee is established for short-form content, and feature films have a fixed fee. They have also made plans to partner with studios that are affiliated with OSN’s international network, to further the avenues of monetisation for their creators.

— The Young Journalist Award (YJA) at Diff is a training programme for high school and university students who are aspiring writers and reporters. Seven students are competing at the festival this year. One winner will secure a monthlong internship with Gulf News.