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Study says 15% of Saudis tune in to podcasts at least once a week

Study says 15% of Saudis tune in to podcasts at least once a week

Listeners trust podcasts more than radio, newspapers and websites, Markettiers report says

Tech-focused podcasts are enormously popular in Saudi Arabia, with 63 per cent of podcast listeners tuning to this genre, according to a new study by Markettiers MENA. Music is a close second, followed by comedy, news and sports genres.

The report builds on the initial findings released in April, which showed that 15 per cent (5.1 million) of the Saudi population tune in to podcasts at least once a week (comparable to 16 per cent or 1.3 million in the UAE).

When it comes to devices, three quarters (75 per cent) use their smartphones to listen to podcasts, which is perhaps unsurprising given the high smartphone proliferation levels in the kingdom.

Podcast listeners in Saudi Arabia have come to show near-absolute trust in the medium (93 per cent somewhat or highly trustworthy). It might be a newcomer to the media landscape, but listeners already trust podcasts more than radio, as well as local/regional newspapers and websites, the report says.

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Podcasts featuring inspiring women are also seeing huge traction, which mirrors the Markettiers research which highlights that one in four women in Saudi Arabia (20 per cent) tune into podcasts at least once a week.

In Saudi Arabia, podcast listeners listen as a family (56 per cent), with their partner (54 per cent) and with friends (47 per cent). Only 21 per cent say they only listen to podcasts by themselves.

When it comes to listenership, podcasts in Saudi Arabia are popular both in Arabic and English with localised content winning over the big global exports, the report says. It is clear from the top-performing podcasts, “that those which delve and develop into culture and life in the region reign supreme”.

The last few years have seen a strong increase in Arabic language podcasts that reflect the region and its people and celebrate local cultural identity.

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