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Saudis Prefer Local Content on YouTube Platform

Saudis Prefer Local Content on YouTube Platform

Monday, 8 February, 2021 - 12:00
A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen in front of a displayed YouTube logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017. (Reuters)

A new YouTube study on the platform’s viewing rates in Saudi Arabia has revealed that the most popular content categories in the Kingdom are gaming, skill acquisition and sports. It noted that the most viewed content is locally produced.

The viewing rates of educational content, the report also revealed, has increased dramatically in the past year relative to other forms of content on the platform. A report published by Ipsos MORI and supported by YouTube showed that 94% of the Kingdom’s population used digital references to access and view educational content. The viewing rate of educational content (such as algebra) increased by 200%.

The study also showed that 95% of its users in the Kingdom viewed “Do It Yourself” instructional video presentations on its platform during the past year.

The search-percentage for gaming content in Arabic increased throughout the region amid the strict lockdowns in place to combat the Covid-19 virus.

Puzzle and adventure games were the most popular in 2020. Sports content’s viewing rates also rose drastically, largely driven by combat sports like boxing and wrestling, which took the lead in terms of viewership. Electronic sports, in turn, were also very popular.

Per the most recent figures made public, there were over 20 million YouTube users in Saudi Arabia (18 years of age or older) last August and they watch videos on the platform at an average of 55 minutes per day. Cultural links are a major factor for users and content creators in the Kingdom, with seven of every ten videos watched in the countries produced by Saudis.

Suhail Saeed, Google’s Director of Products and Advertising Solutions in the Middle East and North Africa, stressed that YouTube’s ability to reach audiences and present them with content tailored to their preferences, regardless of their location, is what makes the platform unique. Another factor is the rich and in-demand content and the options it presents users for searching for content in line with their local culture and interests.

In January, YouTube held its largest-ever virtual event for commercial activities, advertisers and agencies in the Middle East and North Africa region. “The YouTube Festival” provided new statistics on audiences, times and viewing rates in the Middle East and North Africa region and went over the new tools for providing support to advertisers.

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