Alternative Energy

Rise of streaming services sees radio and CDs suffer

RIYADH — The rise of online streaming services has revolutionized the media industry. Faced with an eclectic mix of media providers, consumers have the power to unlock thousands of TV shows, films and/or music in seconds.

New research from YouGov Omnibus shows just how rapidly media trends are shifting in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In the past 12 months alone 29% of consumers across both countries say they have increased the frequency with which they listen to music using online streaming services. This trend is strongest in the UAE, where the figure rises to 35%.

By contrast, just 24% of UAE consumers don’t listen to music using online streaming as much as they used to. The net increase (+11) shows the strong growth of online music streaming services in the Emirates in the past year.

Other means of listening to music have suffered as a result. A third of consumers in Saudi Arabia claim to listen to the radio less than they did 12 months ago, while in the UAE 28% have tuned in less. However, CDs have seen the biggest plunge in popularity; 35% of consumers across both countries have played CDs less in the past year.

Overall, a third (34%) of online consumers across both countries have subscribed to a music streaming service at some point. Of those who have previously subscribed, half (52%) still have a subscription.

Much like music, consumers are also increasingly using subscription services to watch video content. As many as three in ten (29%) across both countries say they watch video content on platforms that do not require payment and/or a subscription, while a quarter (26%) pay to watch video content via streaming services more than they did a year ago.

Yet broadcast TV remains popular; nearly a third of consumers across both countries (30%) say they watch more live TV more than they did twelve months ago.

Commenting on the findings Head of Omnibus Research, Kerry McLaren, said, “There’s no question this survey shows online steaming is an exciting industry to be in right now in the Middle East region. In particular, UAE consumers are favoring such services more and more over traditional means, and are prepared to pay for the privilege.

“While it looks like radio providers may need to diversify to maintain consumer engagement in future, traditional live TV is striking the right balance and shows no signs of slowing when it comes to consumer entertainment preferences.”

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