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Why video is the best marketing channel in Saudi Arabia



Fastcompany reports that Saudi Arabia is home to the most avid YouTube viewers, boasting ‘the biggest user of YouTube per capita in the world’.

One of the reasons touted is the Kingdom’s strict control over television programming, leaving the population hungry for video content.

Also, with half the population under the age of 35, regular television programming was of little interest to millennials.

Fastcompany says while the Saudi government monitors social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, they do not yet censor or limit YouTube content originating in the country.

When YouTube viewership increased fivefold over the course of 2014, Google held a seminar in Saudi to create closer ties with producers of Arabic-language web videos.

Saudi Arabia averages 90 million views on YouTube per day.

Here are the brand channels most visited in Saudi Arabia. (Source: Socialbakers)

This is great news for marketers trying to reach this video-active audience.

Google research facts and figures

  • 88% of online consumers in Saudi Arabia have taken action after seeing a message from a brand that is relevant to them.
  • 40% of consumers in Saudi Arabia said they had discovered new products or brands while watching online video.
  • 86% of Saudi Arabia’s web users under 35 believe that they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn.
  • 82% of web users in Saudi Arabia use YouTube when trying to find out how to do something.

Comscore and census data have also shown that the average Saudi contributes three views each day – about six times more than the average American.

Brand marketing and video

In July 2015 Google partnered with Pixability to analyse viewership and publishing trends from Interbrand’s 2014 Best Global Brands ranking of the top 100 brands.

Their findings showed:

• Four of the top 10 trending videos on YouTube were professionally produced by brands.
• Views of branded content have nearly doubled.
• Consumers watched brand videos more than 18 billion times.
• Brand channel subscriptions are up 47%.
• The top 100 brands have increased their spending on video by 60%.
• An increase of 40% of these top 100 brands have begun investing in video ads.

YouTube is expected to earn $1.55 billion in advertising revenue in 2015, and that number should rise to $2 billion by 2017.

But YouTube isn’t the only channel for video. Research by video advertising agency Mixpo showed eighty-seven percent were planning to run a video ad on Facebook in the coming year, an increase of 24%.

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