Why is the media industry in the Middle East a hot investment opportunity?
Most of the MENA markets are experiencing rapid growth and the media sector is also following the trend.
During the inaugural session of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit that began on 17 November 2014, it was discussed that the region’s media sector is expected to touch USD 21.5 billion by 2019. According to a report release by Strategy& consultancy company, the industry is expected to witness a year on year growth rate of 7%.
ADMS is one the largest global media gatherings that hosts leaders of the industry. The fifth edition of the annual three-day event will draw its curtains on November 20th at the Al Marya Island.
The summit was thrown open by Queen Rania of Jordan, who replaced Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg following scheduling issues. Experts discussed the transformational growth phase that the media industry is going through in the Middle east. Statistics reveal that about 71% of the Middle East Internet users use Arabic when accessing the Internet. Ironically, fewer than 1% of the websites are in Arabic. How is it then that the world’s fifth most spoken language lags on the online world? No wonder then, companies such as www.asamies.com have seen the business sense and opportunity and are helping companies have web domain names in Arabic.
These gaps in the availability of Arabic content to meet consumer needs is an industry in itself. Such gaps exist in various other fields such as TV series, gaming, movies and most other media platforms. It is for new companies and start ups to take cues from here to enter a highly growth potential market.
Interestingly, an increasing number of bloggers are also taking to the shabaka (meaning network) in their native language.
Furthermore, statistics also reflect that the Middle East has already started its journey towards advertising correction. More number of firms are investing in high quality local media to build strong platforms and provide a viable substitute to print advertising. Experts believe that there is a need for investments in digital advertising platforms, given the fact that digital adverting is forecast to grow at 20% until 2018.