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Middle East Media and Entertainment Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

Middle East Media and Entertainment Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • October 2021
  • 117 pages
  • ID: 6020233
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The Middle Eastern media and entertainment market was valued at USD 30,349.4 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 47,029.82 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 7.4% during the period of 2021-2026. With the rising spread of COVID-19 across the region, the businesses suffered significantly. Some players operating in the region are introducing a couple of initiatives to fight the situation, which positively impacts the media and entertainment market. For instance, in Apr 2020, in order to support the Qatar government in raising awareness among the public to limit the spread of the COVID-19, ELAN Group launched a CSR awareness campaign to reinforce that staying at home and keeping a safe distance from each other are some of the most important things people can do in the fight against COVID-19-19. The campaign takes place on many ELAN Media’s Seniors and MUPIs and in all of Doha and Greater Doha Municipalities.

Key Highlights
- The media and entertainment (M&E) industry has been one of the first business sectors to steer digital disruption, and its transformation is far from over. As critical networks and studios continued to unveil their direct-to-consumer streaming facilities in 2020, players are likely to scramble to propose content libraries wide enough to both attract and hold customers, permitting and generating chances and opportunities for media and entertainment companies to re-aggregate their content libraries with a comprehensive collection of offerings, from music, video, and gaming services to ad-supported content.
- The Middle East media and entertainment industry is undergoing significant transformation. Cultural shifts among the region’s young people have spawned considerable traction, and untapped demand for local Arabic content will spur regional media to grow considerably. Also, the increased adoption of mobile technology has created significant opportunities across media platforms. Moreover, evolutions in paid and digital media have created new rationales for investments. These changes provide regional media players with a chance to reset their business models and explore investments in high-quality local content and offer global players, in particular, a reason to re-evaluate their presence in the region.
- The usage of social media has also been growing across Saudi Arabia, a trend of interest to agencies, brands, and media companies alike for advertisements. According to GSMA, the region has around 44% mobile social media penetration, which is double compared to 5 years ago. Facebook now accounts for more than 187 million active monthly users in the region. Social networks in Saudi Arabia have more than 10 million active users, akin to 38% of the population, and around 8.3 million in Turkey (13%). Moreover, the television sector in the region has also been going through a transition.
- The new pay-tv and OTT players are increasingly populating the market dominated by free-to-air, direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting until now. GCC countries are significantly investing in upgrading technology due to various nations’ broadband initiatives to support OTT platforms. An increasing number of broadcasting networks such as icflix, Starz Play, Istikana, and Netflix, operating globally and locally, offer subscription-based VOD services for viewers in the region.?

Key Market Trends

SVOD Segment is Expected to Witness Significant Growth

- Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) allows the usage of an entire library of content at a fixed subscription rate, typically every month. This model falls under the "all-you-can-eat"buffet, where viewers can consume unlimited ad-free content if they have subscribed to the service.
- SVOD currently ranks as the most successful monetization model, representing the OTT market’s largest segment. The biggest players of the OTT market, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, and new entrants like Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, etc., utilize the SVOD model.
- Further, the telecom companies have introduced a solution that provides information regarding the amount of data used while streaming video over a mobile network. For instance, Vodacom has introduced Video Play Time, Video Play Time bundles, a unique, world-first solution that takes the guesswork out of data usage when streaming video over a mobile network and aid customers to utilize their data effectively.?
- Middle Eastern countries are also experiencing partnerships between customer management service providers and SVOD service providers. For instance, in August 2021, OSN chose Evergent to power monetization and customer management for OSN’s new streaming video service in the Middle East and North African region. Moreover, the company is the exclusive distributor of new Disney+ Originals in the Middle East and has long-term partnerships with major studios, including HBO, NBC Universal, FOX, Paramount, MGM, and Sony.
- Further, in September 2021, the Middle Eastern on-demand streaming service TenTime partnered with the technology outfit Accedo to help expand the availability of content on its SVOD service to connected TV platforms.
- Through Apple TV channels, subscribers can watch online on-demand or enjoy offline downloads of their more liked shows on the Apple TV app. With Family Sharing, up to six friends or family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV channels with the use of only their Apple ID and password. Such benefits offered as a part of the subscription are expected to lure more customers into opting for the service and grow the market share of SVOD vendors, such as STARZPLAY.

Digital Advertising is Expected to Witness Moderate Growth

- Economic growth in the region is pushing digital development with increasing mobile penetration and internet subscription. The businesses operating in the Middle Eastern region are focusing on increasing their digital ad expenditure. For instance, according to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (UAE), as of March 2021, there were around 3.27 million internet subscriptions in the United Arab Emirates.
- The use of smartphones for accessing content is on the rise in the region as internet penetration increases exponentially. For instance, according to Ericsson, the mobile data traffic per smartphone in the Middle East and North Africa in 2020 stood at six GB/month, which is expected to reach 30 GB/month with a CAGR of 30%. Moreover, according to a study by the Northwestern University in Qatar, which surveyed 7,303 respondents in the region found that a higher share of Arab nationals gets news from social media platforms such as Facebook (42%), WhatsApp (30%), and YouTube (24%).
- Further, social media advertising is expected to hold a significant market share, followed by search advertising, video advertising, banner advertising, and classified advertising in that respective order. The focus point is expected to be the smartphone, as many users are expected to use the device to access the content.
- The value of internet advertising expenditure in the region is expected to increase at a steady pace. For instance, according to a study by Zenith, the value of internet advertising expenditure in the Middle East and North Africa in 2022 is expected to reach USD 1,205 million. Over the forecasted period, the demand for social media ad spending is expected to increase faster due to the region’s proliferation of social media usage.
- In September 2020, Podean officially launched its Middle Eastern headquarters in Dubai. Podean is an independent global Amazon services provider that offers complete digital advertising solutions for marketing to international and local brands. Further, with e-commerce increasing in the Middle East and North African region (MENA), Amazon is already the prominent player and presents a formidable sales channel for brands that get established early.

Competitive Landscape

The market is highly competitive, with the presence of major international as well as regional players. The market presents opportunities for growth during the forecast period, which is expected to drive the competition further. With few players holding a significant share, the market has an observable level of consolidation.

- September 2021 - Refinitive is planning to optimize its content management system to improve the relationship between wealth advisors and their clients and make the workflow more efficient. Refinitiv’s intuitive content management system, House Views and Market Insights, will offer a solution. This single digital platform will co-mingle and collate relevant internal and external data, enabling wealthy firms to optimize workflow.
- September 2021 - Abu Dhabi Media network Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s leading public media services company, has launched its new program cycle, featuring a variety of entertainment, social, and dialogue programs and businesses, focusing on delivering innovative content that meets listeners’ interests and aspirations and focuses on interacting with them across digital platforms. The radio will also continue to broadcast its programs, which have gained listeners’ permission, such as the entertainment program "sweeter Sabah,"which introduces listeners to all the topics, news, and activities they care about through its various and renewed paragraphs.
- June 2021- Intigral announced the release of its flagship OTT platform Jawwy TV in the UAE market through strategic partnerships with the nation’s telecommunications providers Etisalat and du. The launch is marked by offers available via various payment methods were weekly and monthly Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) subscribers of Etisalat and du. Such kind of partnerships and offers helps the company gain more customers base in the region.

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