1 MAR 2024

Global audiences demand more non-English content

Within the MENA region, the demand for non-English content accounts for over 50% of the total demand, showcasing a remarkable shift in viewer preferences.

1 MAR 2024

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The entertainment landscape is experiencing a significant shift in consumer demand, with non-English content taking center stage, according to the latest report by Rise Studios and Parrot AnalyticsAmong the findings, the companies highlighted that in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the demand for non-English content is over 50% of the total market, showing a shift in viewer preferences. Specifically, Arabic content now represents over 25% of the total demand in MENA, almost doubling the demand seen in 2022.

Overall, the share of global demand for non-English content grew to 40% in 2023, up from 23% in 2018. In recent years, Asian-language TV has become more prominent in global markets, bridging the demand-supply gap, with series such as "The Glory" taking the world by storm. This trend is mirrored in the MENA region, where non-English content now makes up more than half of the demand, led by growing demand for Chinese, Korean, and Japanese language content. These findings emphasize the growing appetite for diverse Asian language content in the region.

Genres with strong appeal harness universal motifs, universally relatable protagonists, and gripping tales that breach cultural barriers, captivating a broad spectrum of viewers. Drama remains the most in-demand genre by far. Still, MENA audiences have shown an increased interest in animation content, growing from 6% to 12% in the last five years, likely due to compelling storylines that appeal to both young and adult audiences.

The report also revealed that the yearning for content in the Arabic language has grown exponentially, highlighting an opportunity for homegrown stories.

"The region is in a transformative era in entertainment and our report highlights the nuances of audience preferences, paving the way to fully harness the potential of the market. At Rise Studios, we work with our strategic partners to scout for stories that resonate with the 375 million Arabic speakers worldwide while also appealing to international viewers. By combining global appeal with local relevance, we produce content that is not only in high demand but also culturally rich, solidifying our presence in the global entertainment space," commented Amanda Turnbull, CEO and Co-Founder of Rise Studios.

"Working alongside Rise Studios, we've uncovered the vibrant dynamics of MENA's media consumption. This partnership is more than a venture into analytics; it's a commitment to elevating the narrative richness of the region. Together, we're unlocking the potential of data to craft stories that not only entertain but also connect and reflect the diverse tapestry of global audiences," added Wared Seger, CEO of Parrot Analytics.