Podcast Listeners Survey MENA 2019

  • 31 Countries
    • 661 respondents
  • 36025 data points

Arabic report 2019 التقرير العربي

Podcasts have witnessed impressive growth over the past few years, and we are keen to keep up with the industry first-hand. One of the most important services we provide is our periodic survey on the podcast industry in the Middle East region. (This was 2018’s Survey)

We conducted 2019’s annual survey in cooperation with many podcasters in the region.

Why do we survey?

The lack of data around the podcast industry in the Middle East is one of the biggest obstacles we face as podcasters. The more cross-industry insights we can have, the more we know what we’re working with and the easier we can grow together. Thank you to our podcast partners and dear readers who helped with this survey: your continued support helps us improve this industry together.

The 2019 Survey

This year, we had 661 listeners (64% more than last year) from 31 countries participate in this survey.

Which countries listen to podcasts?

Actually, the most populated countries are not necessarily the top listening countries of podcasts. Saudi Arabia leads the region with 56% of listenership, then Oman with 14%, the UAE, 6%, and Egypt, 5% of listenership.

Who listens to podcasts?

Listeners are an even split male to female. (50.8% male; 49.2% female)

We are young. 41.2% ages 25-34; 40.9% ages 16-24; 14% ages 35-44).

The majority of listeners are either working professionals or students.

We are smart. 80.3% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

We spend an average of 4.75 hours a week listening to podcasts, mostly in Arabic.

81.7% of us are listening to podcasts more this year than we did last year ????

What’s the perfect episode length?

We love to spend quality time with our favourite shows: the average preferred length of an episode is 20-40 minutes. This is preference for longer-form content has increased over the years: in 2017 most listeners favoured episodes that were less than 20 minutes. We believe this change has been fueled by a greater awareness of podcasts, and our desire for more meaningful content in a short attention span world.

???? We listen to podcasts everywhere, but mostly in the car and at home.

Social media is huge for discovery of shows, indicating how important it is for podcasters to have a social media strategy.

We like our weekly podcasts the best.

Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud reign king and queen:

Podcasts and Money

Many podcasters in the West receive direct financial support from their audiences, in order to ensure the continuity of the podcast. Platforms like Patreon are big players in this. A very encouraging 58% of listeners in MENA are ready to pay monthly to support their favourite podcasts, an increase from last year’s percentage of 37% ).

Would you support your favourite podcast financially?

And, we pay for subscription apps. 60% of us pay for Netflix, Amazon Prime, or OSN, and 18% of us pay for Spotify.

Do you listen to podcast ads?

Numerous international studies point to the effectiveness of podcast advertising, and our results indicate similarly in the Arab world. 40.7% of listeners listen to the ads on podcasts.

The conclusion:

Podcasts are the future. The industry in the Middle East is growing fast; we see it year-to-year in our own studies in terms of awareness, listenership, and behaviour. We highly recommend you also read the data compiled by our directory “Arabic Podcasts by the Numbers”.

Special thanks to all who helped with this survey: Kerning Cultures, ME Podcast Forum, House Zofi

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الكاتب: عبدالرحمن العمران