Ramadan and television have traditionally been a match as families gather around their living room TV to enjoy and share special moments from dawn to dusk. In the MENA region, there has historically been a significant increase in media consumption during the month of Ramadan partly because many popular television shows and dramas are broadcasted during this time.
According to DICM and E-Ramadan Content Market recent “Ramadan Report,” more than 50% of yearly acquisition budgets are spent on Ramadan grids as broadcasters and platforms scramble to gain a competitive advantage in grabbing what is left of TV ads spent in the region.
During the Holy Month, the research shows that television viewership increases by up to 80% in many regions worldwide. In this time, Muslim-focused channels traditionally launch new programmes and series highly anticipated by viewers and designed to bring families together.
Therefore, the SVOD gains significant traction and, according to Ipsos, 8 in 10 people used these platforms during Ramadan, with Shahid VIP and Netflix being the top used services. Arabic series take the lead when it comes to the most watched type of programming.
“Along with widened distribution and added viewership, streaming platforms and competitive programming are pushing producers to offer increasingly modern storylines and series shorter than a month’s worth of 30 episodes. Especially during the pandemic, Ramadan TV has offered a window on places viewers could not travel to with added cultural insights and experiences,” the report says.
During Ramadan, people mainly consume sports (31%) and documentaries (31%) on video streaming platforms, but subscribers were bingeing other genres as well, such as: religious content (29%), Arabic series (27%), international TV series (27%), entertainment (24%), and Western movies (24%). According to Ipsos, 48% of users use streaming platforms to exclusively watch the latest content, 38% watch because of the wide variety of international content, and 48% because of the availability of Ramadan content.
This Ramadan season, 1001, the emerging video on-demand platform, made a significant mark in the world of digital entertainment by recording a remarkable 1.18 million hours of viewing since its launch just prior to Ramadan. Three unique shows – “Iktiham” (Break In), “Majnoon Sara” (Crazy About Sarah), and “Muhtawa Khabet” (Cloudy Content) – drove this successful viewership, striking a chord with audiences during the holy month.
On the same note, Beirut based production powerhouse Cedars Art Productions had one of its best Ramadan runs ever with eight new series that all scored stellar ratings during the region’s peak TV season across the Arab world. Jordan’s Roya TV launched 16 FAST channels, including Roya TV, Roya Drama, Roya Comedy, Roya Kids and a pop-up channel for Ramadan.
Lastly, one of the companies under the umbrella of Roya Media Group is The Show Services, which also achieved great success during the 2023 Ramadan season. Among the TV productions that were distributed to the Arab world was Jalta “Kebrat Al-Eileh” series, which was distributed to Al-Arabi 2 TV, Qatar TV, and Watch IT platform.