IPSOS MENA CEO highlights changes in MENA Ad Market


By mena.tv May 25, 2020



For the first time this year IPSOS has attempted to measure actual ad spend rather than rate card spend. The reported rate card spend totalled around $22 billion in the MENA region. IPSOS estimates that the actual ad spend is $3.91 billion – down from its $5 billion peak but far better than the $2.5 billion being predicted by many players in the market.


Most strikingly, in 2019 Digital ad spend ($1.26 billion) outstripped TV ad spend ($1.18 billion) for the first time. Around 70 to 75 per cent of digital ad spend goes to Facebook and Google – so most of this money is not being reinvested in the MENA economy – it is essentially being transferred to US businesses.


TV ad spend has dropped from around $2 billion over the course of the past few years, but there are several markets where TV is still big, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and the pan-Arab market. Many players are predicting that TV could witness an increase in 2020.


Media consumption habits are also changing. In Saudi Arabia, linear TV viewing has dropped from 6h 44 min to 4h 51 min; in the UAE from 4h 28 min to 4h 08 min; and in Kuwait from 3h 50 to 2h 35. This decrease in TV consumption can be explained by the higher penetration of OTT platforms, particularly amongst Millennials and Generation Z. In both demographics, the penetration of OTT platforms jumped from 47 per cent to 53.5 per cent in the UAE, and from 34 per cent to 45.4 per cent in Saudi Arabia in the last couple of years.