Popularity of podcasts on the rise in the UAE, study finds

A Middle East report into the podcast landscape of the UAE by markettiers MENA reveals regular podcast listeners trust the medium more than any other form of media

Cheryl King is the MD of markettiers MENA.
Cheryl King is the MD of markettiers MENA.

As the global boom in podcasting continues, new research has revealed there are 1.3 million regular podcast listeners in the UAE, providing an ever-growing platform for PR shops to reach an online audience.

The new statistics were revealed in a study into the podcast landscape of the UAE by markettiers MENA, a specialist broadcast PR consultancy.

The results indicate a nation that values the storytelling nature of the podcast medium, with 16 per cent of the adult population tuning into podcasts at least once a week.

Initial results also reveal 92 per cent of regular podcast listeners ‘trust podcasts more than traditional media’. Podcast listeners’ trust slightly drops to 89 per cent for radio and 86 per cent for TV. 

Social media fares worst in the trust stakes, with only 72 per cent saying they trust what they find on these platforms, which is still quite high compared to other studies.

A selection of results were revealed at the latest MEPRA member event, Podcasts 101, with the full report due for release later in August.

Mike Fairburn, of Sony Music Entertainment Middle East and panelist at the Podcast 101 event, referenced the appetite and potential for the podcast scene to grow in the region as mobile connectivity and pricing, access and awareness of podcast stores, and engagement with the creative community opened up. 

Fairburn said "the opportunity will be around empowering and supporting creative talent to drive the industry forward through engaging, relevant and informative podcast formats".

Cheryl King, managing director of markettiers MENA, says well-conceived podcasts are an effective and convenient way to deliver content to target audiences

"The trust that podcast listeners place in the content they are listening to represents a huge opportunity that brands shouldn’t ignore," she said.

"Although the podcast scene in the region is still in its relative infancy, it is clear that it is primed to take off, and forward-thinking brands can get ahead of the curve and capitalise on the appetite for this medium which is undergoing a renaissance like we’ve never seen before."

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