Consumers in the Middle East and North Africa access news across a range of platforms, though the web is now more widely used than TV for this type of content, according to new research.
The ‘Spring Tide: The new era for video news in the Middle East and North Africa’ survey found that websites and social networks were each used by 50% of respondents to access news content, compared to 46% for national TV, and 44% for local and for international TV.
According to the research, which was carried out by Deloitte on behalf of The Associated Press, some 59% of consumers in the region who access online news said they believe they discover most of this via social media sites.
However, once a news story breaks, 43% of consumers said they use TV to find out about it first – predominantly because audiences believe it gives them the right level of detail at that time. By comparison, when a story breaks, 23% said they go to social networks and 22% online.
“The demand for better quality video and more regional news presents a number of opportunities, while the increased use of social media suggests the need for new and innovative strategies to drive audiences back to online news sites,” said Ian Phillips, Middle East director of news for AP.
According to the research, across the region 77% of consumers have access to a social media account, 65% to a laptop and 62% to a smartphone.
The survey targeted 18 to 45-year-olds in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and was predominantly carried out between March and April of this year.