UAE population is unique in the world. Its media landscape is equally so. It is demographically fragmented (Over a 100 nationalities) and ranks high in terms of its maturity in digital advancement. At the same time UAE’s media industry measurement largely remains underdeveloped. Lack of shared industry data makes planning of and measuring advertising and media investments difficult. The lack of such data does not also help content producers and media owners plan for growth.
Cross cultural TV content (Pan Arab viewership at 30%, South Asian at 40% combined), high penetration of digital platforms (100% smart phone penetration), high penetration of SVOD and OTT (Shahid, Netflix and Starzplay combined take on 67% penetration as per estimates by eMarketer) are all factors that add complexity to the job, and require robust mechanisms of measurement to be in place.
It could be argued that in the age of digital platforms and programmatic advertising – an industry measurement system may not add significant value. While this may hold some weight for what is known as “performance” or “Lower Funnel” advertising in digital channels, it is certainly not true for large scale brand building “upper funnel” work.
Planning for “reach” remains fundamental for large scale advertisers. Effective planning for reach demands answers to some crucial questions for advertisers and content platforms alike. A large part of that reach is driven through video advertising. Some of the questions that audience measurement systems help answer are:
With this context, the Advertiser Business Group UAE proposes to the industry the following way forward to explore solutions for a UAE Audience Measurement solution.
The ambition will be to drive all the above within 2020.