In Cairo today, YouTube announced the launch of a new Ramadan-dedicated channel that will feature 50 premium shows during the holiday month. The channel, at youtube.com/Ramadan, will feature the shows the same day they air on TV, allowing viewers to catch the series they might otherwise have missed.
The channel, a joint venture between YouTube and Unilever, will feature over 24 drama series, 38 variety series, and 26 online channels, most of which are from Egypt, with a few from Jordan, Lebanon, and the GCC (full list is downloadable here). The channel will also ineherently make the Ramadan viewing experience social, as it naturally allows users to favorite and share videos.
It makes sense for YouTube to be paying attention to the Middle East and North Africa; YouTube playback in MENA doubled in the past year, now reaching 167 million video views a day. This places the region second in the world in terms of viewership, behind the U.S. and ahead of Brazil. The highest number of YouTube views in the world per internet user are in Saudi Arabia, with 90 million video views a day- an average of around 3.33 per person per day.
“This innovative project is the first of its kind and showcases the momentum YouTube has generated as a destination for premium content for our users,” said Ari Kesisoglu, Managing Director of Google in the Middle East and North Africa.