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How mobile video has become the great connector for consumers and brands in the Kingdom, by Snap’s Abdulla Alhammadi

Mobile video is quickly becoming a fundamental part of how young consumers connect and stay in the know about what’s culturally relevant, writes Abdulla Alhammadi, regional business lead at Snap Inc.

With the number of worldwide video viewers projected to reach 2.72 billion in 2023, understanding how mobile video fits into consumers’ lives is more important than ever.[1]

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, many in Saudi Arabia were experiencing a fundamental shift in their digital-media use, particularly their mobile video consumption. As the pandemic continues, this change in behaviour has now been cemented into their lives—particularly those in the Gen Z demographic—significantly altering their use of mobile video for years to come.

In Saudi Arabia, for example, more people now watch content on Snapchat’s Discover platform every day than any of the top 10 TV channels. This was actually happening both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.  During the week of KSA National Day 2020, over 13.8M Snapchatters in Saudi Arabia watched content on the app. Statistics reflect the trend towards vertical video, be it premium shows or user-generated content.

This suggests that mobile video is quickly becoming a fundamental part of how young consumers connect and stay in the know about what’s culturally relevant. The desire for community and authentic interactions is a major draw for consumers to Snapchat’s video content. Snapchat is ranked as the number one app that makes users feel connected to others, outperforming all other social video platforms.

As preferences among Gen Z and Millennials shift toward high-quality, immersive, and bite-sized experiences, their appetite for premium mobile video content will only continue to grow.

According to a study commissioned by Snap Inc. last year, Gen Z and millennials significantly increased their video consumption in 2020, with a focus on mobile and social media video content. In fact, Gen Zers and millennials say that they watch over one hour per day watching video on social media apps alone. Over half (52%) of both Gen Z and millennials say this increased viewing is here to stay.

The study also shows that Gen Z and millennials consider full-length TV or video series to be too much of a time commitment for their busy lives, making snackable content preferable. When asked how often they watch shorter versus longer videos on their phones, they indicated a strong preference toward videos 5 minutes or less.

It’s not just consumers who are embracing mobile video, either.

Vertical, made-for-mobile video is also playing a revolutionary role in the Saudi marketing mix. Brands are now aware of the power of vertical video as a current, accessible format that is easy to consume. More and more Saudi publishers see the value in their collaborations with Discover, tapping into our deep expertise in made-for-mobile content, while reaching an audience that is extremely engaged on the platform.

With the broader digital transformation trends underway in Saudi Arabia, innovative technologies and platforms are creating new value for organisations and raising the quality of life across communities. New collaborations in areas like mobile video content can ultimately help people express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.

[1] https://www.emarketer.com/content/apac-dominates-in-mobile-phone-video-viewership