TBI Tech & Analysis: Why MENA online ad revenue will double by 2027


Online video advertising revenue in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is set to more than double to $2.3bn in 2027, reveals Omdia’s Maria Rua Aguete.

“MENA is generating worldwide interest in the online advertising market thanks to the immense growth potential linked to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. With more than half of online video advertising revenues expected from TikTok, Meta and YouTube, online video players must integrate social video into their video strategies,” said Rua Aguete, Omdia’s senior research director for media & entertainment.

YouTube revenue is expected to grow from $174.4m to $284.3m, while TikTok will climb from $227.6m to $489.9m and Meta from $306.6m to $469.1m in the same period.

“It is important to note that this growth is the free video space and will not be to the detriment of the subscription online market which is on track to reach $1.5bn in 2027 representing 54% growth,” added Rua Aguete.

Click to expand

Subscription gains

Subscription video on demand (SVOD) numbers reached 11.1 million at the end of 2022, and more than two million new subscriptions are expected this year.

The leading player is Arabic video on demand service, Shahid VIP, with 2.7 million subscriptions. In a close second place is StarzPlay Arabia with 2.1 million subscriptions and Netflix is in third place with less than two million subscriptions.

Shahid holds the largest catalogue of Arabic content in the region offering popular original shows such as Al Thaman and Stiletto and coverage of football competition the Saudi Pro League. There are also plans to launch more than 20 new free ad-supported television (FAST) channels.

StarzPlay Arabia, meanwhile, saw its numbers increase to 2.1 million subscriptions driven by subscribers to its premium football and cricket content thanks to telco partnership deals.

Netflix has continued to invest in original content in the Middle East, however the scale and scope of its content is limited. The success of Dubai Bling should lead to more investments in high quality, Middle East focused, unscripted content in the region.

The streaming service has also amended its pricing strategy between the Gulf and North African countries to make it more accessible to low-income countries in the region.

Omdia forecasts that SVOD and telco partnerships will play a significant role in the growth of the online video services in the MENA region.

Read Next