I am always on the look-out for new markets with good potential and a recent article on AdWeek’s SocialTimes caught my attention about the Arabic-language markets. Most of the buzz in the last year or so has been around sub-Saharan Africa, and while that is an intriguing markets most of their economies still lag significantly, and even more so technologically, behind the Arabic geographies.
The article quotes a study from Northwestern University in Qatar that a disproportionately high number of the top Facebook pages, YouTube channels and Twitter accounts are in Arabic. Saudi Arabia actually leads the world for YouTube viewers on mobile (50 percent of videos consumed) and the United Arab Emirates also posts impressive numbers (40 percent).
Games and entertainment represent a particularly interesting opportunity. When you breakdown the regions traffic, entertainment is first or second in every market (jockeying with interest in brands). The UAE, in particular, is a strong consumer of entertainment content.
I am not saying that you should pivot to focus on the Arabic-speaking market but you should look at it as a serious opportunity. Test user acquisition in the key markets (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait). If you see traction for your app, consider translation into Arabic and potentially further localization of your content. In today’s hyper-competitive world of user acquisition, you cannot neglect potentially lucrative markets.
- The Arabic speaking markets represents an emerging opportunity and should be in the same conversation as sub-Saharan Africa.
- Entertainment content, and thus games, is particularly successful in these markets.
- You should test user acquisition in the key Arabic markets and then consider translation and localization if you generate traction.