Islamic Lifestyle

Dubai’s first e-Ramadan content event sees ‘budget-friendly’ entertainment buyers, says organiser

Entertainment buyers at the Dubai International Content Market’s first-ever Ramadan event were “budget-friendly”, with most interested in ready-to-air productions and even re-runs from previous years, said the organiser.

The most popular genres were drama and comedy, followed by animation, cooking shows, and feature films, Vlad Borovina, Project and Sales Manager at DICM and the e-Ramadan Content Market, told Salaam Gateway.

The virtual event last week was attended by more than 100 professionals representing 60 companies from 18 countries, according to the organiser. They were content sellers and buyers, producers, directors, and content distributors. 

“If initially our Year One plan was to target mostly the Middle East – North Africa region, we noticed a strong presence from Asia, with Indonesia, Malaysia having a good presence both in terms of buyers and sellers. They were followed close by Turkey, but this came with no surprise, considering the popularity of Turkish content worldwide,” said Borovina.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still restricting movements in key Islamic markets including Indonesia, Malaysia and the UAE, media consumption for Ramadan in 2021 may be similar to last year when most countries were in lockdown during the fasting month.

One study of 4,000 Arab consumers in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and UAE found that during Ramadan last year, media consumption increased by 50% for TV, followed by 47% for video platforms and 45% for video-on-demand.

In Asia, Indonesians doubled their online entertainment search during Ramadan last year and there was a 41% increase in the use of media streaming platforms, according to Google. A staggering 93 million Indonesian adults spent time watching YouTube every month during lockdown and Ramadan last year, said the search giant.

Ramadan may be less than three months away but there’s still time for the media industry to fill its entertainment calendar. Borovina said that before launching the inaugural e-Ramadan Content Market this year, DICM found that 50% of entertainment buyers prefer to acquire content three months before Ramadan and another 16% would shop two to three months prior to the holy month.

Ramadan this year will start around April 12.

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Ramadan 2021