Last Updated: Thu Jul 19, 2012 13:58 pm (KSA) 10:58 am (GMT)

YouTube to launch dedicated Ramadan channel

A Saudi woman watches a YouTube video in Jeddah. (Reuters)
A Saudi woman watches a YouTube video in Jeddah. (Reuters)

The holy month of Ramadan is undoubtedly the high season for Arabic television, when viewers around the Middle East gather around their TV sets to watch a plethora of series and soap operas. This year, a U.S. media giant is entering the crowded Ramadan market with hopes that viewers would change their TV habits.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, announced on Thursday that it will launch an online channel dedicated to Ramadan shows, media reports said. For the first time, viewers from around the world will be able to watch more than 50 premium Ramadan shows the same day they air on TV through a new dedicated channel on the website: youtube.com/ramadan.

“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,” said Ari Kesisoglu, Managing Director of Google in the Middle East and North Africa, according to AMEinfo.com.

On average, Internet users in the Middle East and North Africa watch 167 million YouTube videos a day, which makes it the second highest region globally in terms of views.

According to Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, The National, advertising executives in the region are predicting a slight increase in spending on TV ads this year. “It’s looking quite healthy and quite strong,” Elie Khouri, the chief executive of Omnicom Media Group in the Middle East and North Africa, told the paper.

Khouri told the newspaper that TV advertising in the Gulf and Egypt is up by 15 per cent for the first half of the year.

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