markettiers study reveals brand-funded podcasts more popular in Saudi Arabia
As podcast listenership continues to climb globally, markettiers MENA has released the full details of its first ever podcast report into the segment in Saudi Arabia, which has revealed that 86 percent of podcast listeners tune in to brand-funded podcasts.
The new statistics reveal the huge potential when it comes to tapping into engaged, targeted audiences, with 29 percent of podcast listeners saying they ‘always listen’ to brand-funded podcasts and over half saying they ‘sometimes’ listen. It is this powerful connection that listeners have with podcasts that spells a huge opportunity for brands who want to engage with audiences in Saudi Arabia. with the average length of a podcast in the Kingdom being 43 minutes. The study also highlighted the spending power that exists amongst regular listeners. Podcast fans spend on average 17 percent more on food and drink than their non-podcast counterparts, 19 percent more on travel and entertainment and 11 percent more on in home spend.
The report builds on the initial findings released in April, which showed that 15 percent (5.1 million) of the population tune in at least once a week (comparable to 16 percent or 1.3 million in the UAE). And when it comes to devices, three quarters (75 percent) use their smartphones to listen to podcasts, which is perhaps unsurprising given the high smartphone proliferation levels in the Kingdom.
Podcast listeners in Saudi Arabia have come to show near absolute trust in the medium (93 percent somewhat or highly trustworthy). It might be a newcomer to the media landscape, but listeners already trust podcasts more than radio, as well as local/regional newspapers and websites.
The report also highlighted statistics when it comes to the type of content people are listening to in Saudi Arabia. With a large economy, boasting high purchasing consumers and a young tech-savvy population, it is somewhat unsurprising to see that technology-driven podcasts lead in popularity, with 63 percent, music is a close second, followed by comedy, news and sports genres.
Podcasts featuring strong and inspiring women are also seeing huge traction, which mirrors the research which highlights that one in four women (20 percent) tunes into podcasts at least once a week. More than two-thirds like listening to podcasts for content they are specifically interested in, as well as over three fifths (61 percent) enjoying the freedom to listen while they do other things, as podcasts are favoured by many because of their versatility.
According to the report, podcasts in both in Arabic and English and localised content is winning over the big global exports. It is clear from the top performing podcasts, that those which delve and develop into culture and life in the region, reign supreme. The last few years have seen a strong increase in podcasts which reflect the region and its people, spoken in Arabic and celebrating a unique cultural identity.