Streaming activity to surge during Ramadan in UAE, experts say

Streaming activity to surge during Ramadan in UAE, experts say

Residents across the UAE will consume a greater amount of entertainment content such as TV shows during the Holy Month of Ramadan, with local content and period dramas proving to be extremely popular among viewers during this time, expert have said.

Nadim Dada, VP of Programming & Content Acquisition at STARZPLAY, said that the platform has typically seen a “significant increase” in streaming during the Ramadan period.

“Last year our platform witnessed a 32 per cent uplift in consumption during the same period. The Holy Month is a time when families and friends get together, bond and enjoy traditional Iftar and Suhoor, as well as indulge in entertainment such as TV series and movies.”

Similarly, recent research by YouGov, found that 45 per cent of UAE consumers envision streaming Netflix the most this Ramadan.

In addition, data from YouGov’s Global Media Outlook Report for 2022 shows that digital media is likely to pervade in the UAE in 2022, but that young consumers will drive subscription growth. In the UAE, an increase in video streaming consumption in the next 12 months is expected to persist at a steady level across age groups, except for those aged above 45-years, where only 33 per cent anticipate an increase in consumption.

Looking at the growth drivers of media consumption in the next 12 months, all are digital, noted Jules Newby, sector head of Media at YouGov.

“Video streaming services have further tightened their grip on viewers in the wake of the pandemic and are likely to register the biggest growth in consumption in the coming year.”

Asked which shows, or other selections, will be popular during the Holy Month, Dada said that while families conventionally watched traditional programming, this trend has changed over the last few years.

“Today, families in the region have shifted to watching Western content, and OTT players like us are also offering a wide array of content that families can watch together. These include period dramas, Hollywood series, cooking shows, anime series, and much more.”

“We find during Ramadan that people still have their specific preferences but see those preferences amplified; we see more Arabic series boxsets being consumed but at the same time still a constant following for Western boxsets,”.

Post-pandemic, the platform has seen an increased interest in comedy boxsets. Comedy has long been popular in the region, however, the increased shift towards Western comedy consumption during Ramadan is another indicator of changes in preference, Dada revealed.

“On the Arabic content side as well, there has been a shift in viewership patterns. Within the Arabic content bucket, we have seen a rise of dubbed Turkish content consumption over traditional content, especially with flagship series such as ‘Ertugrul’.”

Further highlighting consumption patterns, he pointed to anchored time changes. This means that the majority of users tend to watch every day of the week, rather than accumulating all that time on a specific day, so the viewing is spread throughout the week and eventually the month.

“That is also due to the fact that we offer a lot of content and follow the day and date model, which means we release an episode at the same time as the exhibitor or broadcaster. So, we are programming content in such a way that the user has to come back every day to watch the next episode. One such example is ‘Bab Al-Hara’ – we are streaming the latest season of the popular series during Ramadan following the same model,”

“Like every year, this Ramadan too we have introduced a special line-up for our subscribers across the region. Our viewers can look forward to a mix of Egyptian, Khaliji, and Syrian dialect series, as well as a few new programs that we believe our viewers will love such as Ahmed El Ghandour in his ever-popular show ‘Al Daheeh’,”

Dada explained.

Other shows coming to the platform during Ramadan include Shoghol Aali, Kasr Adem, Pablo, Kayd Al Hareem, and Wojouh. In addition to this, subscribers can also watch discovery+ Ramadan Specials, available to stream on the discovery+ add on channel on STARZPLAY. These include Ajeen w T’heen and Lahme w Bas.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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