Do you listen to podcasts or watch videos on YouTube? Do you consume content through listening or watching it?
As the digital landscape evolves, different content mediums are increasing which helps users to choose and consume content in various ways from different platforms. Digital consumption of video & audio has rapidly increased in the last decade or so and it is still on the rise.
In 2020, UAE had 1.3 million regular podcast listeners which makes it up to 16% of the total population, according to research conducted by Markettiers MENA. 92% of podcast listeners said they trust the content more than the traditional media. KSA has 5.1 million regular podcast listeners which is almost 23% of the total population. Also, 1 in 4 four women listens to podcasts on a weekly basis in KSA.
There are more than 1000 podcast shows in the Middle East. In 2015, there was only one show called The Dukkan Show. Fast forward to 2019, there were nearly 500 podcasts in the GCC. This clearly indicates the exponential growth podcasts have seen in the past few years and the number of podcasts will keep on increasing at a rapid rate in this region.
Video King - YouTube
Out of all the social media channels, YouTube is the most commonly used with nearly 24.71 million active users of which millennials consume the most video content in the KSA as of 2019. In the UAE, YouTube has 8.65 million active users as of 2020, which is nearly 88% of the total internet penetration.
Who is leading?
The winner seems to be the video but audio is not far behind. Audio is catching up as more and more people want to consume content on the go. According to research conducted by Spotify, users want to consume content while they are driving, cooking, or working out. This could be because video content cannot be consumed while doing these activities.
The noise we cancel on a daily basis automatically (plane landing or taking off, birds chirping, construction work) while we are watching a movie or doing an activity, also plays an important role in the way we pay attention to it.
Immersive Audio is one such concept which could be a potential leader in how we listen to audio, going forward. It is a virtual reality of sounds and it gives a wholesome experience to the things we hear on a daily basis while we are indulged in an activity.
Audio is slowly winning the confidence amidst the listeners, for it’s trustability factor. The more business-like, and focussed content shared on the podcasts is helping it audio-tune its story.
But are these edges major enough to put audio far ahead of the curve? We will have to wait and see.