By: Soha Fayed
Abdelrahman Orabi and Maged Mekawy have watched the nascent online entertainment industry in Egypt steadily grow, but they always felt there was something missing.
They watched thousands of YouTube videos but found them lackluster, in need of the “oomph” factor.
Egyptian online viewers like short bursts of commentary and satire infused with comedy, but after Mekawy and Orabi noticed this trend, they created BingeCircle to offer something different.
On December 12, 2017, Mekawy and Orabi, both Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) graduating seniors launched a large-scale media news company, BingeCircle.
Under BingeCircle are several platforms, covering a range of beats and topics, including food, entertainment, movies, news, beauty and fashion.
“I started thinking about the content we want to produce as a company, who is our target audience and how [we] can create a successful online company that attracts viewers and keeps them interested,” Mekawy told The Caravan.
Binge-watching has become part of the social media lexicon, particularly with streaming sites allowing viewers to watch episode after episode after episode of their favorite shows.
After generating much buzz and garnering a lot of online attention and positive feedback, American entertainment company Netflix chose to collaborate with BingeCircle to produce Awel Binge (My First Binge) as part of a worldwide campaign. Awel Binge features several pairs of individuals who talk about their first time binge-watching shows together.
These pairs range from friends to couples in relationships, all of whom share similar but distinctly funny stories on their first binge experience.
The collaboration proved to be a success for BingeCircle; it helped the media company receive more views and recognition.
“Some of the many questions we asked ourselves were who should we get as hosts and what is interesting for our targeted audience,” said Orabi.
The duo started with Overdosed, which still runs to this day that focuses on hosting public figures and prominent individuals partaking in challenges with the show’s host Hana Ghoneim, an AUC alumna.
Overdosed proved to be a success, amounting to a total of 13 million views on Facebook in its first two months, which the duo attribute to Ghoneim’s bubbly personality.
One of the show’s segments was inspired by CBS late-night talk show host James Corden’s popular series Carpool Karaoke.
“We are both passionate about BingeCircle and we put our hearts and soul into it,” said Orabi.
While juggling the production of BingeCircle during their last semester is quite demanding – the two are graduating in June, Mekawy and Orabi remain up for the challenge.
“It takes us 40 hours of nonstop editing just for one Overdosed episode. It is very time consuming,” said Mekawy.
Another show produced by BingeCircle, Leh el Masreyeen Maynf3sh (Why Egyptians Can’t), hosted by AUC alumna Alia El Saedy, takes a satirical approach to the Egyptian lifestyle and behavior.
Some of the information provided in the print edition of this article, published on March 4, was factually incorrect. The Caravan regrets this oversight.