54% of the UAE population spend 6+ hours on social media in a week: YouGov

54% of the UAE population spend 6+ hours on social media in a week: YouGov

This report examines how media consumption has changed recently and which types of media have evolved the most. It uses data from YouGov's audience intelligence platform, Profiles, to explore shifts in UAE residents' media habits and the adoption of online media. Additionally, it looks into the media behavior of Gen Z individuals and compares it to the general population.

UAE residents' trust in news organizations has improved over the last year

Over half of UAE residents (52%) still rely on social media as their primary news source, although there has been a slight decrease in its usage over the past two years. Meanwhile, there has been a slight increase in the usage of newspaper apps. Social media and newspaper websites are the top two news sources for all age groups, with newspaper apps also ranking among the top five sources.

Preference for online news content

Emirates 247 and the BBC Newspaper app have experienced the most significant growth since 2021.

In the UAE, 55% of the general population prefers to read news online rather than in printed newspapers. On average, 88% of the population spends time reading newspapers digitally each week, showing a 2% increase from the previous year.

Keeping connected

Over 70% of UAE residents spend over 5 hours per week using the internet on any device. Additionally, 69% of the general population considers the Internet their primary source of information, with 60% frequently noticing advertisements online.

Engagement with social media

Around 54% of the UAE population spends 6 or more hours on social media each week, with individuals under 24 years old allocating the most time. Specifically, 21% of this age group spends over 21 hours per week on social media.

65% of the general population primarily uses social media for entertainment and news content. While Facebook remains the most used social network, TikTok and Instagram have seen the most significant growth in the past two years. Facebook is popular for users aged over 25. YouTube is more popular for those aged under 25.

The rise of messaging

Over half (54%) of the general population uses messaging apps or services, with WhatsApp being the most popular choice.

Listening behavior

Although radio listenership has slightly decreased in the last two years, nearly nine out of ten people listened to the radio in the last week.

A rising stream raises all boats

36% of individuals stream music for 6 or more hours weekly, with those under 25 years old streaming music for longer durations. Specifically, 12% of them stream music for 21 hours or more, compared to 6% of those aged 35 and older. YouTube Music and Spotify are the most popular streaming services, experiencing the highest growth in the last two years. As for favorite music genres, classical (46%), pop (35%), and country (28%) music top the list.

Younger audiences listen to more podcasts

The most commonly used apps/services for listening to podcasts are Spotify and Google Podcasts. Among Gen Z, 35% listen to podcasts for 6 or more hours per week, compared to 27% of the national representative sample.

Fewer hours spent watching live TV

A greater percentage of UAE residents spent fewer than 10 hours per week watching live TV in 2023 compared to two years ago.

In 2023, 85% of individuals watched TV via a video-on-demand streaming service, slightly higher than the previous year. All platforms have seen increased usage over the last two years, with Amazon Prime and YouTube experiencing the largest growth. YouTube and Netflix continue to be the most popular platforms.

How do Gen Z consume news?

Gen Z shows a greater willingness to pay for online newspaper content, with 42% compared to 38% of the general population. While social media remains the top news source for Gen Z (42%), there has been a 5% increase in the use of news apps on mobile/tablet devices over the past two years. Additionally, Gen Z has higher usage of and Apple News compared to the general population.

Gen Z have higher engagement with social media

In 2023, Gen Z is dedicating more time to social media compared to the general population, with 41% spending 11 or more hours per week (compared to 38% of the general population). Among Gen Z, YouTube is the top social network, followed by Instagram. However, there has been a significant decline in Facebook platform usage among Gen Z over the last two years.

Entertain, update and connect me

Among Gen Z individuals, 28% use YouTube to view or watch fun/entertainment content, while 24% use it to stay updated with news. Furthermore, 27% of Gen Z use Instagram to maintain contact with friends.

Are Gen Z always listening?

Gen Z demonstrates higher music streaming activity, with 27% listening for 11 or more hours weekly, compared to 20% of the general population. Additionally, 35% of Gen Z listen to podcasts for 6 or more hours per week, compared to 27% of the national representative sample. Google Podcasts has seen a 5% growth in the last year among Gen Z.

How do Gen Z like to watch TV?

44% of Gen Z individuals believe that live TV is outdated, compared to 38% of the general population. YouTube remains the preferred choice for on-demand TV among Gen Z and has experienced the most growth in the last two years, followed by Amazon Prime and Disney+.

News Source: YouGov

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