UAE embraces social media to enhance TV viewing
28% of those surveyed by Motorola said they would pay for chat to be added to TV services
According to findings by Motorola Mobility's 2010 Media Engagement Barometer, viewers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are embracing social media as a way of enhancing their television watching experience.
Around 60% of UAE consumers that were surveyed said they use social media or internet chat to discuss the TV and video programmes they are watching, while they are watching them.
This is the third highest total behind China (70%) and Russia (66%). Of the UAE group, a further 67% do it frequently or very frequently, the highest combined percentage of the entire survey.
The Media Engagement Barometer is a worldwide study of video consumption habits among 7,500 consumers in 13 markets by research agency Vanson Bourne.
"The general trend for the survey has been towards established Western markets being more conservative in their viewing habits than Middle Eastern and Asian ones, and the UAE results certainly bear this out," said Alper Turken, sales director, Middle East & Turkey, Home business, Motorola Mobility. "The Internet Era of TV is shaking and breaking existing usage patterns and business models, presenting opportunities for service providers. As the UAE results show, innovations around integrating social media functionality will certainly find favour with viewers, and this should encourage the development and deployment of new services in the region."
According to Motorola, the study showed that 28% of those who use social networks or chat services to discuss programming would pay for such services to be integrated into their TV service.
Out of the 13 markets surveyed, according to Motorola, the UAE leads the pack in the use of mobile TV and video. Over half of respondents say that it is either very or quite important for them to be able to watch free-to-air and subscription content on a device outside the home.
While the television is still the primary viewing device, it is fighting with a number of other newer screen options, according to the results. Fifty two percent of the sample watches TV and video on laptops, 31% on desktops and 13% use either smartphones and/or tablet devices.
The UAE again leads the pack in ownership of next-generation devices, when looking at ownership figures both now and within next 18 months, more respondents say they plan to buy a 3D television by 2012 than in any other market (42% plan to own in the UAE against a global average of just 22%). This figure is three times as many as in France and Germany and almost four times as many as North America.
Motorola's Media Engagement Barometer is a research project looking into the video consumption habits of 7,500 consumers across 13 markets: Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Nordics, North America, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, UAE and the UK. The research was conducted on behalf of Motorola by an independent agency, Vanson Bourne.
The Motorola 2010 Global Media Engagement Barometer research focused on television and video content and aimed to develop both a global and regional understanding of what video content was coming into homes, how it was being consumed, how viewing habits were evolving with the advent of new technologies such as social media and the trends service providers should seek to support both now and in the future.