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Home of Ramadan Content – by MMS’ Richard Addington

This Ramadan offers new opportunities for brands to connect with their audience, writes MBC Media Solutions’ Richard Addington

By Richard Addington, Head of Agency at MMS

Brands in the region know the undeniable impact of Ramadan’s narratives and stories on reach and marketing results. Brands have also witnessed MBC GROUP become home of Ramadan premium content in the past 31 years. 

In fact, millions of Arabs from all over the world tune into MBC GROUP channels to watch their favourite stars and celebrities return to the screen in exciting new shows and programmes.  

Last year alone, MBC GROUP TV channels recorded an 80.4% individual reach in KSA, while the group’s streaming platform, Shahid, recorded 23 million active users and 54 million plays during the month. 

Radio in KSA is also a go-to medium during the month, as 5.4 million listeners tuned into MBC FM and Panorama FM’s Ramadan shows in 2022. Meanwhile, the Group’s social media channels recorded 17.7 billion video views. 

MBC GROUP’s premium Arabic content and its ability to integrate brands from all industries into the special season’s stories and narratives have proved to enhance brand favourability, purchase consideration and ad recall. 

Third-party brand lift studies on MMS Ramadan campaigns across MBC GROUP channels have found that brand favourability increased for telecom companies by 19%, e-commerce by 22%, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) by 9% and food aggregators by 18%. 

Meanwhile, purchase consideration increased by 14% for telecom, 18% for e-commerce, 20% for FMCGs & 19% for food aggregators. As for ad recall, it increased by 80% for telecom, 56% for e-commerce, 69% for FMCGs and 63% for food aggregators. 

MBC GROUP’s premium Arabic Ramadan content has shown consistent results year on year in delivering reach and impact for brands and this year is no different, as Ramadan 2023 is set to be the Group’s biggest line-up as yet. 

“Last year alone, MBC GROUP TV  channels
recorded an 80.4% individual 
reach in KSA. ”

We are going to see big format shows, such as the highly popular Saudi satirical comedy, Tash Ma Tash, which is making a comeback following a 12-year hiatus as Tash 19. Other highly-rated shows returning this year are Seen 2, Hekayat Waa’d, Ramez, Minho Waladna and Sikat Safar, amongst others.

We will also see the comeback of some of the Arab world’s biggest film and TV stars such as Nasser Al Qasabi, Abdullah Al Sadhan, Habib Al-Habib, Souad Abdullah, Mohamed Ramadan and Huda Hussein. MBC GROUP’s premium Arabic productions air across the company’s TV channels, as well as Shahid streaming platform and various social media channels.

At MMS, we are continuously diversifying our offerings to empower brands to successfully leverage this content to best connect with their audiences, and this year, MMS is working with brands on leveraging Shahid’s expanding Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD) offering. 

Since Shahid’s relaunch on January 8, 2023, the platform has witnessed immediate growth with a 92% increase in players, 116% increase in its KSA inventory and three times increase in its overall AVOD content (just in one month).

Shahid will continue to expand its inventory so that 86% of its total Shahid content will be on AVOD by the end of the year, and I am happy to say that most of the highly anticipated Ramadan 2023 line-up of MBC GROUP TV channels will also be available on Shahid AVOD, enabling viewers to watch it for free with ad breaks. 

This unlocks new unlimited opportunities for brands to connect with their audience through Shahid, the Arab world’s leading streaming platform, during Ramadan. 

In addition to the full range of offerings available, across MBC GROUP’s TV channels and Shahid, this year will see exciting new Ramadan shows on Al Arabiya News Network, including the relaunch of Sabah Al Arabiya as Masaa’
Al Arabiya
during the duration of the month, as well as various other Ramadan-specific fillers. 

The same is true for MBC GROUP’s radio channels’ Panorama FM and MBC FM, which are going to air a number of Ramadan-specific shows catering to audiences in Saudi during the month. 

The power of radio in Saudi Arabia is unrivaled and MBC GROUP’s MBC FM and Panorama FM are at the top of it all with a reach of 48% of the population and with a 40% share of audience in KSA. 

Radio in Saudi Arabia creates impactful reach and achieves instant top-of-mind recall all while enabling brands to get personal with their audience, with both channels recording an average of three hours of daily listening time and over two million calls annually. 

When it comes to social media, in addition to the group’s high reach and presence on its own platforms, which achieved 17.7 billion video views last Ramadan, MMS is also renewing its partnerships with major social media platforms to name a few, to make MBC GROUP’s Ramadan 2023 content available to brands to leverage. 

We’ve also enhanced our innovative offerings at MMS and developed various high-quality new formats and flexible brand integration opportunities that creatively push boundaries—presenting brands with a unique opportunity to deliver their messages post-production to engaged audiences as they watch the content they love. The evolution of 3D graphics and technologies has also highly contributed to the introduction of these new formats.  

We believe that Ramadan on MBC this year, will offer the biggest opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences  yet, due to the the premium Arabic content the group has to offer, which delivers unrivalled reach and impact, Shahid’s unprecedented level of audience and scale and the consistent growing performance we’ve been witnessing.