Podcasts – The Hidden Gem of Middle East Media

Author: Mairead Comerford

Podcasts – The new medium of the Middle East? If recent studies are anything to go by this could very well be true. Current data shows the increasing popularity of podcasts in the region with 16% of the population now tuning in at least once a week, making the UAE on par with the UK for listeners per capita. Additionally, according to one UAE media report, some podcasts saw their listenership double between 2017 and 2018, with three quarters of the population now having heard of podcasts.

So, with podcasts clearly increasing in popularity, the question is should brands and business be taking note? In short, the answer is yes. Not only are they one of the fastest growing media mediums, but for their regular listeners they are the most trusted. And whilst regular listeners are still in the minority, this is set to change as data has predicted a “tipping point” could soon be happening with regular listeners soon becoming a huge portion of the country. The global media are also taking notice with renowned America publication WIRED commenting that “Podcast listeners really are the holy grail advertisers hoped they’d be”.

If brands need even more reasons to jump on this new bandwagon, some of the stats that have been produced should suffice. In a recent report conducted by Infinite Dial in the United States, they found that 54% of the study said they were either “somewhat” or “much more” likely to consider brands that advertise on podcasts. According to a 4DC report they have found that regular podcast listeners, on average, outspend non-regular listeners by 26% and, not only that, but they also spend 25% more on food and drink over non-listeners.

This significant difference in spending power is boiled down to the assumption that those who listen to podcasts are “more educated” and therefore more likely to have a higher income. Whilst this prediction may seem presumptuous, a recent study  has seemly verified the speculation thanks to a swelling data pool, (particularly via Edison’s Infinite Dial and Nielsen’s Total Audience reports).

The only question left to answer is not why but how? How do businesses infiltrate this somewhat untapped market, and how can they do so by maintaining the authenticity it thrives on? The first and most obvious solution is to sponsor a podcast. The outcome being that those delivering the podcast would include a soundbite generally at the start of the podcast of the brand or business in question. Plain, easy and effective. For those wanting to create a higher level of positive sentiment and more authentic approach, you’ll have to do some more work. Reaching out to podcast hosts sharing your product in the hope that they will organically talk about your product is an end goal. Alternatively, establish yourself as a thought-leader in your industry and feature as a guest on industry-related podcasts to grow brand awareness in an organic way.

In short, podcasts increasing popularity, attractive audience and trustworthiness are a real no brainer for business and brands to explore. Looking to advertise or push your brand though podcasts? Look no further than Seven Media to be on the pulse of all things current in the Middle East.