In-person media activities likely to grow in UAE but digital media will dominate consumer choice
December 8th, 2022, Bhawna Singh

In-person media activities likely to grow in UAE but digital media will dominate consumer choice

YouGov’s Global Media Whitepaper 2022 across 18 international markets aims to understand how media behaviour has changed during the last 12 months and what the future media landscape might look like in the year ahead.

When comparing global future media behaviour to the previous 12 months, YouGov research shows that media penetrations remain high and stable across various types of media. Digital media continues to dominate consumer choice, with websites or apps registering the highest penetration.

Looking at the data for UAE, we see more than half of consumers report having visited websites/apps or interacted with social media (56% and 55% respectively) in the last 12 months and at least two in five (48% and 45%) intend to continue these activities in the next 12 months.

In addition, nearly half have streamed video (46%) but fewer watched live TV (39%) in the previous 12 months, and similar proportions (42% and 36%) are likely to do each of these activities in the coming 12 months.

Watching movies in a theatre was the least consumed form of media in the past twelve months, and consumption is likely to remain the same in the future.

Exploring consumption of different media channels by age, annual penetration of websites/apps and engagement with social media are the highest among adults between 25-34 years and lowest among 55+ adults. In general, consumers in the age group of 25-34 years are likely to have higher engagement with all forms of media- digital, traditional as well as outdoor in-person activities.

If we look at the ‘net growth scores’ for each media activity (calculated by subtracting less consumption from more consumption percentages) in the last 12 months, we see polarization between digital media activities and outdoor in-person activities.

At the top end of the scale, websites and apps registered the highest ‘net growth’ score in the last 12 months (+42%), followed by social media (+41%). On the other hand, outdoor in-person activities such as watching a movie in a theatre registered a negative ‘net growth score’ of -6%.

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, growth in consumption for certain digital media types (such as websites, social media, and streaming video) appears to be slowing, but for traditional media like watching TV and reading a newspaper/ magazine, it is either the same or growing a bit.

On the other hand, in-person media activities are likely to pick up in the future. Attending live in-person events shifts from a +4% ‘net growth’ score in the last 12 months, to a +9% in the next 12 months. An uptick is expected among those planning to increase their number of outings at a theatre (rather than decrease), with a +2% 'net growth' score in the next 12 months (compared to -6% in the previous 12 months).

As media behaviour continues to evolve, it is key for marketers and advertisers to understand which media consumption habits are most likely to stick, and which are set to grow among current consumers.

Read the full report here.