Why Podcast Advertising in Dubai is Growing

#AudioInsights       #Audio ads       #Marketing Strategy

Suzi Kuban

Suzi Kuban

Arabic language podcasting is flourishing in the UAE. There are already millions of eager Emirati listeners tuning in regularly – creating a huge opportunity for businesses. Podcast advertising will improve awareness and sales among Emirati’s.

There are many ways brands can start podcast advertising, from show sponsorships to programmatic ad insertion. To be successful in this marketing strategy you need to put careful thought into the ad creative and listener targeting, so you organically become part of the conversation.

Why brands are excited about Arabic podcasts

There is a reason why podcast ads and sponsorships are especially effective in Emirati focused marketing efforts. Emirati’s are considered, within the industry, to be highly influenced consumers. They are more likely to buy for social status or from a recommendation, than any other way. Podcast hosts are within their circle of influence, therefore having a big influence on the awareness and consideration of a product/brand.

Specifically for Arabic shows – UAE Nationals relate better to hosts that speak their language and understand their experiences, thereby driving trust and connection through the roof! A priceless benefit for brands!

The opportunity of podcast advertising in Dubai

In the MENA region podcast growth is significant. Highlights include:

  • In 2020 Next Broadcast Media opened the first Middle East digital audio marketplace and advertising services.
  • In 2021 Dubai hosted the first Dubai PodFest, a dedicated podcast event.
  • In 2022 year Anghamni became the first Arab tech company to be listed on NASDAQ Stock Exchange.

In Dubai podcasts are part of daily life for millions; specifically over 1.3 million. (This data is from Markettiers MENA 2020 study. Based on our stats and the global upwards trajectory of listeners, we know this number is now significantly bigger!)

Alongside the growth of podcasts in Dubai, Arabic content has been going up too! In the UAE podcast charts, Arabic shows dominate. Mideast Media 2019 report found up to nine in ten podcast users in the UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan listen in Arabic. We expect local content to continue growing substantially.

The huge number of Arabic podcasts over the past few years has given Emirati audiences an immense range of choice of stories and opinions from multiple perspectives. For advertisers this translates into listeners that are more loyal, engaged, and influenced.

What does this all mean for you?

More listeners joining, means more advertisers, which means more money fueling the local market. This perpetual cycle, feeds each other which is great in terms of improving quality of shows and number of listeners.

How to create a podcast ad strategy

  • Small marketing budget? If you budgets is $250+ choose programmatic podcast advertising. We can programmatically insert ads at pre, mid, and post points across new and past show episodes. Use the incredible targeting options to target Arabic content networks.
  • Big marketing budget? With larger budgets consider host reads and sponsorships. This approach could be more influential as it is more relevant and less like advertising. There are multiple ways to use show hosts and sponsorships including live reads, dynamically inserted host reads, product placement and sponsorships. We have a full breakdown of these formats in our How to Use Podcast Influencers post.
  • Ad length: For programmatic podcast ads, 20 to 30-seconds is the sweet spot for length. This length outperforms others on most key performance indicators such as engagement, brand effect, recall, and trust.
  • Ad tone and style: Podcast ads aren’t like radio where you need to be loud and shouty. Sure, perhaps a jingle could still be fun and memorable. But what’s more important is the message and seamlessly fitting into the content. Be more conversational and emotive. Be less repetitive and intrusive.
  • Ad language: At the end of the day, your targeting Arabic speaking customers – so use Arabic voice actors! Think how you can reflect the attributes and values held by Emirati customers.

The bottom line

Advertising to UAE Nationals is equally complicated and fruitful. The majority have high incomes and are affluent. But without being embedded in the religion, culture, and lifestyle, creating a marketing campaign that works is complex. Don’t fall into cliché traps that don’t bring in leads, sales or interest. Use the booming Arabic podcasting scene to connect with consumers and increase sales.


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