The Middle East Media and Entertainment Market is expected to reach a CAGR of 13.5% during the forecast period 2020-2025. Growing trends around personalization and increased digitalization, significant growth in online Gaming, OTT, and internet advertising are some of the major factors driving the growth of the market. The use of social media is growing across Saudi Arabia, a trend of interest to brands, agencies, and media companies alike for advertisements. According to GSMA, the region has 44% mobile social media penetration, which is double as compared to 5 years ago. Facebook now accounts for 187 million active monthly users in the region. The social network in Saudi Arabia has more than 10 million active users, akin to 38% of the population, and 8.3 million in Turkey (13%).
– The market also witnessed significant changes in the last couple of years. One of the biggest milestones was the opening of the Saudi Arabia cinema market. With the growing demand for leisure and entertainment across the region, the media and entertainment industry in the nation is likely to record considerable growth over the coming years.
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Key Market Trends
Video on Demand Segment is Expected to Witness Significant Growth
– Increased penetration of mobile devices and faster and cheaper internet connectivity, as well as a shift from traditional payment models to the subscription-based payment model, has increased the growth of video on demand across the region. Moreover, increased emphasis on enhanced customer experience is leading to the revamping of streaming platforms giving customers an overall control of what to watch, where, and how.
– For instance, in December 2019, Orbit Showtime Network has revamped its streaming platform named WAVO in the Middle East. The revamp has changed the linear TV viewing to non-linear, which has eliminated the need to follow a fixed schedule pre-planned by the TV network.
– According to Mideastmedia, as of 2019, the use of traditional media has declined in all surveyed countries. The percentage of nationals who watch TV fell most sharply in Qatar and Jordan from 2013 to 2019 (down 26 and 22 percentage points, respectively).
– With the rise of Video-on-demand and streaming services, the market for OTT players has become highly competitive. The penetration of these services is also less in this region as compared to other parts of the world and posses threat from foreign competitors such as Apple TV and Disney.
Advertising is Expected to Witness Moderate Growth in Traditional Media
– The advertising segment is expected to grow at a moderate rate in traditional media due to the introduction of new online channels. As of 2019, print newspaper readership declined by more than 50 percentage points in Qatar and the UAE and by more than 30 points in Tunisia and Jordan. Although newspaper readership fell by 15 points in Saudi Arabia, 44% of Saudis still read a print newspaper. Radio use increased by 10% points in Egypt from 2013 to 2019.
– The gaming industry is also booming in the Middle East, leading to the growth of increased downloads of mobile applications. As a result, many players are advertising over these apps giving rise to in-app purchases. The increase in the use of social platforms by the youth of the region has also increased the growth of online advertisements. For instance, Instagram has 60% of users in the age bracket of 18-24 years.
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