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Online ad spend set to grow by up to 35% in 2009
By Claire Ferris-Lay on Thursday, January 29, 2009

Regional spending on online advertising is expected to grow by 25-35 percent as a result of the downturn, according to a study released on Thursday.

The region will witness a greater shift from print to online advertising as budgets are slashed, according to Game Not Over, a report by global management consultant firm, Booz & Company.
Online advertising is cheaper compared to other mediums such as television and print and is far more targeted. It offers better investment and a better return, Gabriel Chahine, a partner at Booz & Company told Arabian Business.

Online advertising spending in the GCC-Levant countries remains below 1 percent of the total globally, according to Madar Research.

According to the report, around 90 percent of marketers are focused on campaigns that are cross-platform and inclusive of digital media while 80 percent believe insights into consumers digital behaviour will become more important to their brands.

Growth of online advertising, however, is hampered in the Middle East, by a lack of supply of regional products, said Chahine.

Popular online offerings [in the Middle East] are Google, Yahoo and Facebook which are still taking the top spots in terms of audience. We still do not have a compelling offering in the online space.

We need the media players who are in traditional media to create new digital brands across key offerings such as sports, music and games, he said.

Just 25 percent of marketers consider themselves savvy enough to capitalise on opportunities in online advertising, said the report.

Key concerns include the efficacy of digital metrics, the need for greater education and new models so they can build a more effective advertising presence online said the report.


MENA broadband growth potential still high

Informa claims broadband subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa will reach 27 million in the next five years

By Vineetha Menon Published September 22, 2009

Broadband in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has the potential to grow nearly 25% over the next five years, a report by market research firm Informa has revealed.

New broadband users in the region grew by 66% to reach 4.8 million in 2008, while the market is poised for a further 64% growth this year.

The report also added more signs of positivity - broadband subscriptions is set to climb from over 7 million this year to 27 million in 2014 in the region.

"Perceptions about the Middle East and North Africa countries' ability to foster e-commerce are increasingly becoming outdated. Operators across the region are beginning to invest heavily in getting high-speed, high-capacity and cost effective telecoms networks into the region and the current infrastructure is much more advanced than perhaps they have been given credit for," says Mohammed Hamza, senior broadband analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media and author of the Middle East and North Africa Broadband report.

Calls for higher bandwidth are ringing out in the region because of greater demand for media and video services, though the report points out that the vast majority of residential customers use broadband for basic applications such as e-mail and browsing the web.

The largest broadband subscription bases in MENA are in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Morocco and Iran, which represent an astonishing 79% of the region's total broadband subscriptions.

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