New report: Middle East online advertising market is now worth $150 million

Published September 14th, 2011 - 05:02 GMT

The Middle East online advertising market is now worth $150 million, with 1 in every 9 ad dollars spent online. This 12% share of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) advertising spend represents a new record for online advertising in the Arab countries, according to a research team report.

Although the region registered high growth rates in digital advertising, it is still far from the 25% ratio of online ad spend in US orUKmarkets. In the Arab states, television and newspapers are still the dominant advertising vehicles. However, internet continues to expand its reach, and the impact of social media is extensive, even playing a key role in the Arab Spring events throughout the region.

The main avenue of growth in the digital advertising in theMiddle Eastwas in display advertising, and display ads placed in a social media environment were the area that showed the largest growth.

The biggest spenders on online display by category are finance, entertainment, and consumer goods manufacturers. Other areas of significant growth included mobile advertising, and the online classified market.

Nuqudy researchers quote data from Nielsen as for 2010 total advertising market mentioning that Y/Y percentage growth was 26% in MENA the highest globally. In comparison North American registered 6.2% growth rate, Europe 8.1% andLatin America21.2%.

Mobile phones are seeing extensive usage as means to connect to the internet, and almost 40% of the MENA users access the internet via mobile devices.

Internet users in the Middle Eastgrew exceptionally over the last decade, up from 3million users in 2001 to 81million users today according to the research team.Dubaihas the largest penetration rate at 71%.YemenandIraqtail the penetration rate list with less than 10%.

Nuqudy research also reveals that 4.25 million Saudis use Facebook, while about 60% of Internet users inSaudi Arabiaplay games online. The total number of smartphones in the kingdom is now over 3 million units, with almost 50% of Saudi internet users connecting to the internet through their smartphones. 

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