5 Minutes with Juan Jose De La Torre

Intigral is well known in Saudi Arabia and the UAE as a digital content specialist. You won the exclusive rights to the Saudi Football League last year.

How is that panning out?
That’s right, we acquired the rights to the Saudi League in January 2013 and then based on those rights we sourced the same technology we had been using and we created a product called Dawri Plus, which is MENA’s first multi-screen platform that gives fans the ability to live stream and replay Saudi Premier League matches alongside social interaction and multiple interactive features.

Our customers can enjoy live matches through platforms across the web, including Apple and Android devices. It has been very successful.

When was the football product launched?
The first version was launched in August last year and then every two to three weeks we are releasing new updates and features. Today we have a fantasy game also running on this platform based on Saudi Football League and we have deployed tracking cameras on the fields.

Every time there is a match we track the players so that we have all type of stats such as how many time a player ran or had possession of the ball. This has been very successful. In terms of unique visitors we have topped around 50,000 per match which is like having two full stadiums in Saudi.

What other services have you been developing?
At the same time we continued developing our payment enabler and payment gateway which allows merchants from the Middle East to have a one stop for all their payment and collection needs including carrier billing, credit cards and ATM cards.

We continue to work on games and expanding our games club proposition. We have also taken to the next level our music proposition called SULTN, which is similar to Spotify but we focus it on Arabic and Middle Eastern content.

We continue developing our kids’ proposition and we also continue developing and expanding our women’s proposition called, where we created special content for women and Saudi women in particular.

How important is it to develop Arabic content?
It is critical. There is very little Arabic content that is high quality and that people are willing to pay for, so still we have to rely quite a lot of Western content but we are seeing a big improvement, whether we are talking about applications or web properties. We are seeing content of higher quality and Intigral is playing a key role working with some partners to create sites for the region, adapted to the region, and with relevant content.

Are there any plans for expansion?
Expansion has always been in the plan, but we are really focusing on Saudi Arabia because of the reach that we have there and the size of the market. As we move forwards, we are selectively expanding into other markets where it might have a positive effect on our financials and aligned with our ambitions. Most of the content we have we have the rights for the Middle East but it is sometimes not economically feasible to deploy in some countries that are too small. We are working hard to find the right business models to work in those countries.

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