There's no doubt that video is the space to watch in online content; by 2014, it may account for 90% of content consumed on the internet, according to the Managing Director of Youtube in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The Arab world, and Saudi Arabia in particular, are
leading the pack. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of YouTube
views in the world per internet user, followed by Egypt, Morocco,
and the UAE,
according to Google. In 2012, 190 million videos were watched
daily in Saudi Arabia alone, almost 7 views a day per member of the
population. And 76% of those users in Saudi Arabia last year
watched videos on their mobile phones.
For the entire Middle East and North Africa, the figure grows to 240 million videos views daily, according to research by ikoo, an online advertising platform based in Dubai.
ikoo, a Jabbar company that launched in 2009, has recently been refocusing on video advertising to boost clients' marketing campaigns, says Issam Bayazidi, Ikoo's CEO. Startups in the region should consider online video advertising for six reasons, he says:
- Videos will load faster as internet speeds
increase. As bandwidth improves, more users will opt for
videos over articles, to consume information quickly.
- Video clips increase social media
interaction. When content is video, people comment more
and share content more, says Bayazidi. Many social media platforms
are taking advantage of this fact; Twitter has
launched Vine, which allows
users to post videos that are five or six seconds long, and
Facebook has now announced that they will be adding video
advertisement to users' newsfeeds, to add to the company's revenue
- Internet use is going mobile. More users
are accessing the internet via mobile and tablet, where video
is simply more accessible and easier to assimilate than text,
especially if sent in short clips over social media or messaging
tools like Whatsapp. More time on smaller screens makes video a
- Video production is affordable. Many
startups think that producing high quality video is an expensive
challenge, yet thanks to cheaper cameras and easy-to-use video
editing tools and programs, it's becoming very simple to implement.
“Streaming and delivering the video are the expensive elements.
This is why many startups are using free delivery video platforms
like DailyMotion, Vimeo, Viadeo, and Youtube,” says Bayazidi.
- Viewers are used to multiple screens.
Nowadays, people often don't watch TV without looking into another
screen, even if only to check email. Being present on TVs,
computers, tablets, and mobile will allow advertisers to reach a
- Users want to consume video on their own time. A content distribution plan that depends upon viewers watching specific segments at specific times is outdated, says Bayazidi; viewers have become accustomed to video-on-demand and now want to consume at their own schedule, he illustrates. “Consumers and users are not passive receivers anymore, they are empowered and except to be empowered to choose when to watch what.”
Which startups that you know have launched particularly effective campaigns?