Al Bawaba claims website audit first

Jordanian internet group Al Bawaba, which operates Middle East websites www.Albawaba.com and MENA Report (www.menareport.com), has completed what it claims is the first BPA Worldwide audit of any website in the region. This research – which covered both sites - discovered that Arabic music downloads are gaining in popularity.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  May 7, 2006

Jordanian internet group Al Bawaba, which operates Middle East websites www.Albawaba.com and MENA Report (www.menareport.com), has completed what it claims is the first BPA Worldwide audit of any website in the region. This research – which covered both sites - discovered that Arabic music downloads are gaining in popularity. The BPA Worldwide audit - which according to Al Bawaba is BPA's first in this region - monitored the sites’ activity and visits during the month of December 2005, discovering that the Al Bawaba site received 6,605,945 individual page requests and a total of 1,475,985 visits. Al Bawaba’s English and Arabic language homepages were – unsurprisingly - the most visited during December (with the next most visited page the Al Bawaba Forums (interactive notice boards where on-line surfers meet to exchange views and ideas)). However, the next most visited pages were the site’s music download and music/video streaming pages. “These findings show two important trends in the Middle East,” commented Hani Jabsheh, director of Al Bawaba. “Firstly that Arabic music has an ever-growing following among all nationalities. The majority of the music we have on the site has an Arabic influence to it or is international mainstream that Arabic listeners enjoy and we are seeing downloads in massive numbers from around the world. Secondly, never let it be said that there is nothing more appealing to our users than something for free. Al Bawaba believes that illegal free downloads of commercial music are detrimental to the music industry and we do charge a minimum cost for this service, but we do offer visitors free streaming of music and music videos. It looks like our users love this.” ““One thing is for sure, the Internet and Al Bawaba as the official largest Middle East focused web site, is becoming part of our society,” added Jabsheh. “We get to work and go on line, we go home and we log on, we turn to the Internet for business news and entertainment, we talk to our friends and family using the internet and of course make new friends on-line. The next BPA interactive audit of Al Bawaba Group is planned for June 2006 and we look forward to finding out how the tends in the region are developing.” Al Bawaba site visitors clicked through an average of 4.48 pages and spent just over eleven minutes on the site. In terms of the site’s traffic sources, the most users – 5.83% of the total recorded – came from www.iam.net.ma-registered sources (Morocco), closely followed by those in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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