Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Future of news - Arab Media Forum

You might remember that we've been doing a series of consumer research pieces with the Associated Press on the future of news in various regions. This leg of the journey took us to the Middle East, where we covered three markets: UAE, KSA and Egypt. I presented this at the Arab Media Forum this afternoon.

Major findings:

  • Middle Eastern residents are avid consumers of the news - on average they'll take in 72 minutes a day, which is the same as their counterparts in Europe
  • Trust is the most important driver for selecting a news channel. Interestingly, speed is almost irrelevant - only six percent of respondents said that it mattered, which goes against traditional thinking...
  • ...and probably reflects the fact that social currency from news is gained by depth of understanding rather than being the first person to hear about it
  • Half of online news users discover stories on social media and 45 percent of users share a story at least once a day
  • This reflects the importance of news as a conversation starter - 97 percent of people talk about it regularly, principally around the dining table (67%). Those closed door conversations have not yet made it online, perhaps because of privacy concerns
  • Video is becoming an important part of the online mix, but would be more so if technical quality increases
The report isn't due for a few weeks, but at the moment the findings point to a market that has thus far embraced social more than video, perhaps because of relatively slow connections (excepting UAE), which allow for opinion sharing but not rich media. For the region's news organisations it means that there is significant opportunity in replicating the tactics and strategies of more advanced markets as connectivity improves - the audience already exists and is savvy.

No comments:

Post a Comment