OTT is the new global influencer

Mediaplus Middle East’s Pooja Suvarna explains why over-the-top content is the new global influencer with four essential tips on how brands can leverage this trend globally

Over-the-top (OTT) platforms are trending and preferred by a lot of people around the world. During the pandemic, when industries were struggling to survive, the OTT industry bloomed. Due to the large variety of entertainment only a few clicks away, people flocked to OTT platforms on their preferred devices and usage increased dramatically.

By the end of 2022, according to Brightcove the number of Video-on-Demand and OTT media subscribers in the MENA region was projected to be 15 million. By 2027, the global OTT industry is estimated to be worth just over $1 trillion. Clearly, there is no looking back. 

With such a presence in people’s lives, OTT platforms are influencing audience interest in many ways – shopping according to a lead character’s outfit choices, visiting particular destinations where a certain series was filmed, or discovering older music because of a popular show’s soundtrack. 

This craze following OTT shows is no less prominent in the GCC. In fact, audiences in this region are influenced by OTT platforms more than any other region in the world. This is largely due to the GCC’s high internet penetration – a solid 98 per cent compared to the 64.4 per cent average across the world. 


As audiences flock to OTT platforms, their search trends are likewise being influenced. A few examples: 

When Bridgerton premiered, the number of searches for corsets rose significantly. In the GCC, many were searching for similar keywords to corset on Google. Corsets have also taken the fashion world by storm, trending across runways and resurging as a modern style staple.

Supplied: Serviceplan

Tracksuits saw a similar trend surge due to Squid Game, as did the tourism industry when audiences started searching for destinations they saw on OTT platforms. 

But one question remains – how can brands leverage this trend?


An always-on approach on Google Search campaigns will help brands ensure they do not lose out on any opportunity or search trends happening online. The always-on approach helps understand the current search trends, which in turn helps brands know where to shift their focus. 

Since we know that almost 15 per cent of searches online are for new terms, identifying trends allows brands to expand their current keyword bucket list with additional similar keywords. By doing so, brands can ensure that all opportunities and queries are covered in their search campaign. 


Have a dedicated team or agency that is always on hand, helping you keep track of the trends and which would be best to leverage for your brand’s business.  


Once a valid trend is identified, jump on it across social media platforms and share similar products offered by your brand to influence the audience to purchase or know more.


Apart from spending money on marketing products online, brands should also start building their website with organic content, featuring content for trending products and sharing similar styles for the audience to explore. With your website as a one-stop content hub, linking to where you can buy these products (in the case of a non-e-commerce website) will be a seamless experience and might help in increasing sales as well.

In order for any brand to be seen or engaged with by its audience, it is important for it to be on top of the latest trends and to leverage the same with a unique and innovative approach.

OTT platforms like Netflix have announced allowing ads on basic subscriptions and have also reduced the price which will be a game changer for a lot of brands. This is currently rolled out across 12 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the UK and the US). It is expected to be launched in more countries over time. 

The Bridgeton and Squid Game series are classic examples of OTT formats influencing and originating fashion trends, allowing brands in the fashion industry to succeed through their brand positioning and connect with their audiences even more. Awareness of and connection to OTT platforms is, along with the given tips on leveraging their success, a real game changer for any brand in any industry.

By Pooja Suvarna, Manager – Digital Media, Mediaplus Middle East