Complex Made Simple

Middle East’s demand for broadcast-quality video content grows

Consumer brands will benefit from internet-based marketing campaigns, says CMO at Brightcove


By Maha El Gazzar


The demand for broadcast-quality online video content in the Middle East region is driven by a widespread access to high-speed internet, and the proliferation of smartphones and other technological devices. According to a December 2012 report, titled: Online Video Platforms: An Analysis of Market Opportunity in the Middle East, released by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, more than half of the population in the GCC region has access to the internet. It also suggests that consumers increasingly watch content on video-capable, internet-enabled devices. The same report also reveals that the time spent on watching online video content equals the time spent on watching TV across the Middle East region. This shift in consumer behaviour is causing traditional content creators to accelerate and expand their multi-platform distribution initiatives.

Various sectors are to gain from utilising online video content, according to Jeff Whatcott, chief marketing officer at Brightcove, an online video platform that was recently launched in Dubai. “We are seeing a lot of local affiliates of financial services companies. Major consumer goods brands will also benefit from online marketing campaigns that operate on a regional level.”

He also states that tourism could benefit heavily from online video content. Last year, Brightcove worked with the Dubai Jazz Festival to stream live performances online. “It is, after all, a visual medium and the hospitality sector can use such an experimental tool to promote their products.”

However companies, such as Brightcove, face a challenge when it comes to educating their clients on technology and its importance. “Educating the marketing departments of companies can have its limitations, but since we are working with media companies (such as Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi Media), we believe the education curve will go up,” adds Brahim Laraiki, regional director for the Mea region at Brightcove.

When asked if it’s cost effective for SMEs to use online video content, Whatcott doesn’t believe the price points that the company currently offer fits their needs. “We think our best opportunities are with larger organisations,” he says.

Brightcove’s new office in Dubai will be headed by Laraiki, who will work under the direction of Sue Thexton, its senior vice-president for the EMEA region.The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.It completed a successful IPO in 2012 and is listed on the NASDAQ.In 2012, Brightcove reported $88 million in revenue.