By Cheryl King, managing director, Markettiers MENA
Podcasts in the UAE have been on the rise for the past few years, but now more than ever listeners are tuning into a wealth of podcasts for their news, entertainment and education needs, proving a key opportunity for brands in the region to tap into the power of audio. Our research at Markettiers MENA in 2019 showed that 16 per cent of those asked would tune into a podcast at least weekly. Now, just two years on, the listenership in the region has grown rapidly. Our latest research reveals that podcasts are becoming a part of listeners’ daily routines with over a third (37 per cent) of the UAE audience tuning in to a podcast at least once a day, if not more than once. What’s more, 31 per cent listen to podcasts at least once a week. As more people in the region download and subscribe to this form of audio content, our latest survey of more than 1,000 adults in the UAE reveals the top podcast preferences that brands need to consider based on this latest research.
The category is…
There really is a podcast for everyone, with varying topics of conversation. But when asked what genre of podcasts is most preferred by listeners in the region, it was found the top five podcast genres in the UAE are music (57 per cent), comedy (40 per cent), technology (33 per cent), sports (28 per cent) and news and politics (27 per cent).
Content is king
Almost half of those asked believe that a balance of facts and humour makes for a good podcast, showing the importance of presenting factual content in an entertaining and engaging way. It’s also important to consider the credibility and reliability of the information being shared, with 37 per cent enjoying a podcast most when they feel that the topics being discussed have been thoroughly researched. Although entertainment is a big listening factor, it’s also about education. 45 per cent of those surveyed believe a good podcast is one that teaches the listener something new.
It’s not just all about knowing your stuff, it’s also about delivering this through the right medium. When asked, 28 per cent of podcast listeners believe a likeable and relatable host contributes to their listening experience, so finding an engaging host is a must.
Be part of the conversation
Fuelled by the pandemic, listener habits have changed and the medium is on the rise. 59 per cent of respondents revealed they now tune in to podcasts more this year when compared with the same time last year. This highlights a need for creators to keep listeners updated with content now more than ever.
What better time for brands to wake up to the potential of podcasts than when they have a captive audience on a daily basis tuning into audio content.
It’s time for brands to capitalise on this growing trend, which will continue to gain popularity. Podcasts are here to stay and are a proven method to communicate with a targeted audience. Brands that see podcasts in their entirety and think about the whole strategy, from planning and creation to distribution and promotion, are the ones that are now reaping the rewards of a growing listenership that is consuming potentially hours of their curated content. 2021 is the year to jump on the podcast wagon.