News Column

Mena Online Ad Market to Reach $2.8 Billion by 2016

June 13, 2013

Online advertising in the Middle East and North Africa region (Mena) is growing at 37 per cent per year to hit $2.8 billion in 2016, industry experts said.

Omar Christidis, founder and CEO of ArabNet, said the potential for meteoric growth in the online sector is clear. "We are living in times when the ones who fail to keep up pace will stand to lose business. It's the law of the survival of the fastest," said Christidis.

Industry leaders and digital experts will gather in Dubai to discuss these critical issues during the ArabNet Digital Summit on June 24-26 at Atlantis, The Palm, he said.

Maud Moawad, CEO of Maddict, pointed out that mobile display advertising for tablets and smartphones would increase at a rate of 40 to 50 per cent yearly. The growth experienced over the last nine months was above 60 per cent.

The ArabNet Digital Summit will discuss ways for agencies to engage users across multiple platforms, screens, and mediums within their campaigns.

The Summit will delve into yet another hot topic in the industry--the future of digital video.

Experts estimate that we will have six million years of online video by 2016. Mobile video is particularly prominent in the MENA region, with 37 per cent percent of online consumers watching video on mobile phones at least once a day.

According to a recent report carried out by OOXmonitor, a web-based service that provides advertising monitoring in the Middle East, digital ad spend grew by 12.6 per cent in the UAE compared to 5.3 per cent in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The UAE accounts for 47.1 per cent of GCC online ad spend.

While print media is still going strong with 71 per cent share of overall ad-spending, the digital media "is still in its infancy" in the region but growing at a brisk pace. Social networking and use of social media sites have been on the rise in the GCC, the report noted.

Designing integrated digital campaigns is one of the hottest topics resonating in the industry. 48 per cent of users watching TV are also using their mobile or tablet at the same time each day. This figure rises to a staggering 85 per cent if we consider how many users do so per month.

The adoption and use of online technologies and services, particularly in mobile services, is showing stellar growth, as Maud Moawad, CEO, Maddict, points out: "Mobile display advertising for tablets and smartphones will increase at a rate of 40 to 50 per cent yearly. The growth experienced over the last 9 months was above 60 per cent." With the growing number of available platforms, brands are now looking for new opportunities in the ever-developing digital space. The ArabNet Digital Summit will discuss ways for agencies to engage users across multiple platforms, screens, and mediums within their campaigns. The summit will delve into yet another hot topic in the industry--the future of digital video. Experts estimate that we will have 6 million years of online video by 2016. Mobile video is particularly prominent in the MENA region, with 37 per cent percent of online consumers watching video on mobile phones at least once a day.

"Video consumption in our region exceeds international rates, with on-demand viewing and online video now more accessible," said Christidis.

More than 57 per cent of companies in the Middle East are increasing their digital marketing spending this year; 27 per cent of this increase is spent on social media marketing.

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(c)2013 the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

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Source: Copyright Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates) 2013