Note: this piece is derived from an original post by Ahmed Gabr but amended with comments by Wamda's Editor below:
According to a recent report released by Ipsos, a research agency specialized in digital content in the Arab world, ad spend is on the rise, up $500 million compared to the first quarter last year.
The report points to the dominance of television as a medium, the fact that Egypt is the single largest market for media consumption in the region, and that radio and newspaper are biggest in the Gulf.
However, due to poor labeling on the report, we're having difficulty interpreting it. While its graph titles say "Media Consumption," its numbers in the billions likely refer to ad spend, not the number of hours that viewers are consuming. A total media consumption of 4.5 billion hours in the Arab world in Q1 2013 would total around 14 minutes per person over the whole quarter- far too low.
And yet if it's taken to mean ad spend, an average of $4.5 billion for each quarter would mean around $18 billion a year. This would be consistent with other estimates by Ipsos, but would contradict a report by the Arab Media Forum that places yearly total ad spend for the Arab world closer to $5 billion for 2013.
While we're waiting for a reply from @IpsosMENA that can clarify the indices, here's a look at the statistics if the graphs are taken to represent ad spend in millions of dollars.
- Ad spend on television is more than triple all other forms of media, including radio, newspapers, magazines and outdoor advertising banners.
- Most ad spend in TV is Pan-Arab, at around $1.4 billion, with the next biggest market being Egypt at over $1.2 billion; Lebanon comes in third at only $200 million and Iraq and Kuwait follow.
- The largest market for radio consumption is the UAE, where around $50 million was spent in Q1 2013, and the next largest market is Saudi Arabia, where close to $45 million was spent. Egytp clocks in at around $15 million and Lebanon, Jordan, and the rest decline from there.
- Newspaper advertising is largest in the Gulf, with Saudi Arabia expenditure reaching almost $250 million in Q1, if the y-axis is understood to be a multiple of 10 million, the UAE coming in at a under $20 million, and Kuwait, Egypt, and Qatar following.
- Magazine spend is highest in the UAE, followed by Pan-Arab publications.