With the digital world, video content reigns in the sphere of online media consumption, especially in the Arab world.
In its August newsletter, Think With Google MENA reminded the world of the importance of video content among millennials in the Arab world, in hopes of stirring a conversation among marketers in the region. The research-based report, which was initially published in March 2019, highlights the online trends present among the younger generation in the Arab world. Millennials in the MENA region spend over three hours per day on online video, surpassing time spent on messaging apps and games.
When it comes to YouTube, more than 60 percent of its viewers in MENA are millennials (aka people born after the 1980s). These individuals comprise the biggest Middle Eastern audience on the platform. Also, 68 percent of people in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE consume video through digital means as opposed to TV.
When it comes to dedicated YouTube fans, Saudi Arabia dominates. The Gulf country is the biggest user of the video-sharing platform per capita globally. The number of millennials in the country amount to 6.3 million individuals.
Well, that shouldn't come off as a surprise considering YouTube is actually one of the most popular brands in Saudi Arabia.
In a recently published YouGov survey, it was revealed YouTube is the third most loved brand among Saudis. It was outranked by popular fast-food chain Al Baik and F&B company Almarai. If 56 percent of Saudi consumers use YouTube daily, then that must mean it's quite popular.
In 2014, it was revealed that more than 90 million videos were being viewed on YouTube in the kingdom daily. In 2016, Saudi Arabia witnessed a 100 percent growth in total uploads coming from the kingdom. That same year, Saudi Arabia contributed a third of total watch-time in MENA.
In 2017, the kingdom hosted its first-ever YouTube FanFest, bringing together YouTubers from around the globe. Top Saudi comedians including Omar Hussein (FanFest Jeddah host), Bader Saleh, Hatoun Al Qadi, and Njoud Al Shammari took part in the event. More than 2,500 people attended the Jeddah shows that year.
The most popular Saudi YouTuber is Mohamed Moshaya, with a total of 7 billion views on his channel, according to Social Bakers. Moshaya describes his channel as the "largest family vlogger in the Middle East."
Think With Google MENA actually pinpointed that many Middle Eastern millennials are parents and YouTube is a big part of the family experience. In fact, over 90 percent of mothers watch YouTube with their kids on a daily basis. In the region, over 40 percent of fathers turn to YouTube for guidance. Moshaya's skits with his three children were given as an example of the types of videos millennial parents watch.