Google’s YouTube has announced a new online channel
specifically dedicated to showing Ramadan shows
. The media giant is hoping to capitalize off the fact that viewing of Arabic soap operas and televisions series historically rises over Ramadan.
The company said in a statement, “Millions of viewers around the world will be able to watch more than 50 premium Ramadan shows the same day they air on TV.” Unilever is the primary sponsor of the channel, with the brands Lipton and Knorr representing most of the advertising.
Previews of the television shows are already running at youtube.com/ramadan
, and the full site launch should begin later today (Wednesday).
Studies have revealed that YouTube users in the Middle East and North Africa watch 167 million videos a day on average, making MENA the second-highest viewing region throughout the world. This gives YouTube an opening for a huge market to target.
The managing director of Google MENA, Ari Kesisoglu, said of the channel, “This innovative project is the first of its kind and showcases the momentum YouTube has generated as a destination for premium content for our users.”
Satellite TV businesses in the Middle East have targeted Ramadan viewers for years, and it was only a matter of time before Internet media players got into the game. This particular incident is noteworthy for the Western orientation of the site, but the increasing popularity of Arab media made the event inevitable.
MBC, the biggest broadcaster in Arab countries, has revealed before that it gets over one-quarter of its viewers in the Ramadan season.
Image credit: Flickr, Bob Bekian