3alarasi In-House Professional Cartoon Animation, and User Generated MultiMedia Content Social Network.

23 Aug, 2008

3alarasi is an interesting Jordanian startup, which is an entertainment portal that mix its in-house produced unique animated cartoons, caricature, audio productions, and articles, with users generated & sharing of content:Games, videos, audios and photos, with many social networking features.

3alarasi means in local Jordanian dialect: I accept with great pleasure or I appreciate greatly.

3alarasi uniqueness is in its in-house produced content, which currently produced by its cofounder cartoonist Omar Abdallat, his animated cartoons is a distinctive attempt to fill the gap between Arab originated animations and the ones  originating from western and Asian producers. 3alarasi’s edge is in its localized content that understands the local culture more than being competitor in high-tech long animations.

In-House Content:

Currently Omar uses different carton characters, in his cartoons, and animated cartoons, in which they tackle many issues related to the Jordanian society, such as Awad Abu Shifa and Jaber Kawanes, each cartoon character represent a segment of the Jordanian society, 7awa (Arabic for Eve) represent a women who tackle women related issues. Other characters include: saleem abu saleem o um saleem.

Though the cartoon characters and the animation are currently limited to Jordanian culture and dialect, 3alarasi has plans to add Egyptian and Khaleji (referred to the Arab Gulf area) characters and content soon. and While the site Interface is currently in English, an Arabic interface is also coming soon. According to Amer AbuLaila CTO and cofounder of 3alarasi.

The following video is an example of 3alarasi in-house produced animation, it uses slang Jordanian dialect:


Video transcript:

(o 3ard okhti)= by the honor of my sister( he is swearing by the honor of his sister, which is not a classy swearing expression that is somehow common in Jordan among some youth, but not used by officials, and in Islam it is considers (Shirk) – associating a partner to God- when someone swear by anything other than God) -ya jama- you (group of people) and I am not lying (tripping) to you with any word, that from how a professional driver I am, I light my cigarette in Amman, -the capital of Jordan 400KM away from Aqaba-, and finish it in Aqaba, but also I am used to (Tanatat) gays‘ calm way of driving, like once I went back from Aqaba to Amman in (darrs )- i did not understand this word -Amman in the center of the Map- and with the honor of my sister, and with the honor of my sister, I am not a tripper (liar).

MMS:

Beside 3alarasi website which all its service on the web are free-, 3alarasi offers MMS Channels for Zain Jordan subscribers, with 0.20 JD( Jordanain Dinars, (US$ 1= JD 0.70O) fee per message, though it plans to enable this service with more regional mobile operators, “we are negotiating with several operators in KSA, Oman, Yemen, Palestine” said AbuLaila.

User Generated Content:

The Gaming community is one of the other interesting aspect of 3alarasi, where users can upload shockwave apps and share them with the community who in turn can have fun playing them. I do not know if there is any other regional game sharing website available today in the Arab world, so that makes them first also in this area.

As mentioned earlier 3alarasi also offers to its users the ability to upload and share content and offers social networking services.

Users can upload for free videos, audios, and photos, with many privacy options, while Video upload can take any format,  uploaded from Youtube or Google videos, or an immediate capture from your personal cam.

The social networking aspect of 3alrasi has all the usual social networking featuers: Profiles, adding friends, commenting on each profile, sending messages and discussing topics on the forum ( which interface is not inline with 3alarasi theme). Users Profile for example can be customized either with an HTML code or through what-you-see-what-you-get customization option.

Business Model:

3alarasi business model is based on MMS subscription revenue sharing with mobile operators in the region and in selling ads on its website.

According to ERUM Creative Productions L.L.C that owns 3alarasi, during the last 18 months, ERUM has served over 600 unique animation episodes where more than 51,000 mobile users in Jordan enjoyed our MMS channels, 3alarasi, 7awa, and Falla7. I estimate 3alarasi mobile revenues to be around 142,800 JD monthly (US$ 1= JD 0.70), which would be 1,713,600 JD yearly. ( Based on 0.20 JD per message on the assumption of 7 MMS per user per week, with 50-50 MMS revenue sharing with Zain Jordan, with 51,000 subscribers)

But according to AbuLaila the company has been funded privately and recently 28% of the company was sold to 2 Jordanian investors, who valuated the company at half a million JD (US$ 1= JD 0.70O), in which I suggest this valuation is too low if you look at my estimated revenues above, that does not take into account the expected increase when 3alarasi’s MMS is enabled in other regional countries. Let alone the expected ads revenues from the website.

3alarasi online ads offers, Banner Ads: with three locations on each page on the website. Videos and audio Ads format can be: a text ads rotator on the video or audio player; also the video ad  can be played before the video or audio (Pre roll ad).

I could not get information if 3alarasi developed the video and ad insertion technologies or if they are using a third party application, since AbuLaila, went offline before answering all my questions, but I hope he can send me some more information soon.

Though according to the company advertising system has Ad tracking System , that enables advertisers to track their campaigns, view reports, breakdowns, and with graph tools.

Areas of Improvements:

3alarasi has a rewarding system that currently does not function, and I could not get much info about it from AbuLaila, but my take is that they should offer revenue sharing with the users who upload content on the website, and their best focus should be with cartoonist and creative producers across the Arab world, where 3alarasi should reach them and open dedicated channels for them on 3alarasi, so they can submit creative content from cartons to animations. And share with 3alarasi  their 3alarasi’s web site contents’ ad revenues, and the revenues from their MMS distributed content, in  which this would make 3alarasi the creative producers  socialnetwork platform in the Arab world.

3alarasi stats (according to ERUM):

According to  ERUM, 83% of the site viewers are coming from Middle East, and GCC (Arab Gulf Council ) countries, and its highest five ranks are in Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, and Libya.

S ince early this year, 3alarasi.com has served over 5 million video views and over 4 million photo and caricature views for worldwide users.

And today 3alarasi.com is receiving over 12 thousand unique users per day, while new visitors to the website are increasing due to the continuous marketing campaigns on Google, Facebook and other networks and websites.

Other stats of 3alarasi.com according to ERUM study on Alexa

* Over 350,000 Unique Visitors per month.
* Over 1,200,000 Page views per month.
* Over 40% traffic from Jordan & Middle East.
* Over 33% traffic from GCC area.
* Subscribers are between 14 – 45 years Old.
* 70% are between 18 – 29 years Old.
* 56% males, 46% females.

Company Background:

3alarasi started 18 months ago for few content it produced which was distributed only via MMS to Zain Jordan subscribers, then to a website with cartoon content, produced by cartoonist Omar abdallat. The current new Beta version  started when Amer AbuLaila CTO joined the company for the IT development 9 months ago, According to Abulaila.

3alarasi is owned by ERUM Creative Productions L.L.C whose Founders are: Amer AbuLaila as CTO, cartoonist Omar Abdallat, writer Rajae Qawas, Fahed Oweidat as CEO.

3alarasi in Main Stream Arabic Media:

Yesterday 3alarasi was featured on BBC Arabic radio find the audio bellow (in Arabic )
While AbuLaila will be on Future TV (Lebannies Arabic Satellite Channel) 10 – 11 am (Jordan time +2GMT)


Besides 3alarasi, ERUM provides creative content via all media; they have created TV advertisements using their characters. They also have a daily show on Ramadan with Nourmina TV Arabic Satellite Channel from Jordan.  And started to broadcast their cartoons on other Arabic Satellite Channels, like Future TV, and soon on other popular TV Channels across the Arab world.

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  1. Mamod  |  August 23rd, 2008 at 2:41 PM #

    This is a great post indeed, thank you for the hard work you’re doing to keep us informed with the latest news about web in the Arab world

    I liked “Business Model” analysis the most, but I don’t think if it’s 100% true the owner will ever accept the half million evaluation of his company, still you did a great job to estimate the revenue of 3alarasi.com

  2. Gaith Saqer  |  August 23rd, 2008 at 3:06 PM #

    Thank you Mamood, great to have AC sponsor comment here:)

    well this post was trouble some to me, since of slow internet and PC, i have experienced.But thank God managed it at the end. 🙂

    I will update the post with more info inshallah soon.

    Mean while what do u think of the new social sharing widgets, you should use them and help create a viral effect for AC 🙂

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