Youtube marketing

Growth of YouTube in the Middle East

Editor’s Pick Published on 30 Sep 2020

With the rapid spread of the internet and the proliferation of social media channels, one can’t deny the increase in online media consumption especially when it comes to videos.  Therefore, YouTube has become one of the most popular online video sites in the world.

YouTube which was started in the year 2005 has drastically changed according to the consumption pattern of its users.  From beginning as a site devoted to amateur videos to one that distributes original and authentic content, YouTube has come a long way. The video platform has seen a tremendous growth in recent years especially after the global coronavirus pandemic. The growth will be similar for the Middle East as well.

Saudi Social Consumption

Source -

What does the statistics say?

As per the article in Arabian Business, around 160% new channels came on YouTube in the last 3 years in the MENA region. Some channels even have millions of subscribers.  There are chances that almost everyone in MENA has watched something on YouTube. No doubt, YouTube gives an intense personal experience to the users and we can enjoy it for hours in the comfort zone of our homes. 

There is strong hunger for content among Millennials in the MENA region as 60% of youtube viewership comes from this age group. Moreover, they are not only watching videos but also driving content actively. Millennials spend around 3-4 hours per day on YouTube, rather than on messaging apps.   However, when it comes to dedicated YouTube fans, Saudi Arabia dominates in the Middle East region.

Well, this particular age group comprises both married and parents. They are the first generation that has grown up with the Internet. 

Here is their behavior –


Millennials YouTube Behavior

Source - ThinkwithGoogle

YouTube for Advertising

The rise of video consumption and content creation on YouTube is making online video an important part of marketing offerings in the region. In 2015 Maggi did an award-winning weekly episode series that told empowering stories about Arab women.

YouTube marketing can be an intimidating tool for brands. Companies often endorse their brands from popular celebrities on YouTube. They often connect with the most viral content creators who showcase and advertise your product time and again on their channels.

For example - On June 24, 2018, when Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on women driving, Jaguar celebrated the historic day by featuring Saudi Arabia female racer Aseel Al-Hamad which recorded 43,367 views across on YouTube.

Ad expenditure in the Middle East and Africa would amount to 24.25 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up from 23.1 billion a year earlier, which would constitute a growth rate of 5%. Thus, the Middle East has become a hot spot for companies to endorse their brands because of the high demand for YouTube advertising.

MrFifaSA is a great example of the rising popularity of a creator who delivers advice on football gaming strategy to his 1.1 million subscribers. Huda Kattan is one of the biggest beauty YouTubers and entrepreneurs in the world.

One popular example, the family vlogging channel “mmoshaya” from Saudi has more than 8 million subscribers and over 4.5 billion video views.

No doubt, YouTube is a new sensation that influences more than 100 million Arab youth today and helps them in acquiring a new skill. Parents were also increasingly using YouTube to bond and share experiences with their children.

Effect of Coronavirus on YouTube consumption

With Covid-19, there is rapid change in the video consumption in the MENA region. People are now engaging more than ever before. For Instance, Saudi Arabia has seen an increase of 56% in digital video consumption in 2020.

46% of people are spending at least 2 hours daily watching digital videos. Video on Demand is a new buzz and people from the Middle East are spending 3 hours per day watching it.

Here is comparison on In-stream and Out-stream videos on YouTube from March 2019 to March 2020 -


Video Comparision

Source -


With the young generation from MENA increasingly harnessing social media for entertainment, learning and for marketing the brands. YouTube has become the hottest marketplaces for video marketing. 

No doubt, the future Growth of YouTube is tremendous and with the new normal the chances of growth has been multiplied. 


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