Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Mobile Advertising Market in the Middle East


While doing some research work I came across a wonderful presentation by Wael Quader, CEO, Noqoush a mobile media agency catering to the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. The twenty two minute presentation is quite insightful in the context of mobile advertisement in the MENA region. The fact that Noqoush is audited by Effective Measures, a premier research agency adds further credibility to the presentation. One can go through the video by following the given link- The Mobile Advertising Market in the Middle East- Wael Quader.
As finding quality statistics is a real challenge in the MENA region, I just thought of extracting some key statistics and insights from the video and write a blog-

·         Total number of mobile phone subscribers (2012) in Middle East stand at 250 million.

·         The total number of internet users in Middle East stand at 77 million, out of which around 35 million access internet through mobile phones.

·         One of the biggest markets in the Middle East in terms of mobile usage is Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It has a subscriber base of 53 million out of which around 11.3 million access internet through phones.

·         Three biggest markets in terms of ad requests are- KSA, UAE and Egypt.

·         Popular mobile application categories include- Games, social messaging, video streaming, music and entertainment and news and sports.

·         Types of mobile ads include- Simple, dynamic and rich media. Rich Media- 70% of users are interested in rich media. Rich media will play an important role in the near future.

·         Click through rate (CTR) - CTR is a measure of effectiveness of ad campaigns. It is equivalent to the no. of times a click is made on an ad divided by number of impressions. (The number of impression is the number of times an ad has been served). The following graph will give some insight about the CTR for some of the MENA countries.

        Fig 1: shows the CTR for various Middle Eastern countries.

In the given context there are two important points to be noted. 1st CTR is not always a sufficient measure for effectiveness of ad campaigns as effectiveness also depends on the number of ads served. For instance Qatar with a CTR of 0.9 seems a better option than KSA which has a CTR of 0.6. However the reason for slightly lower CTR in KSA’s case could be the high volume of ads issued. 2nd the statistics given over here are with respect to AdFalcon , Noquosh’s advertising platform and hence cannot be generalized.  


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