Two weeks ago Google announced the launch of YouTube.co.ae – the local UAE domain of the popular video streaming site. From April 22nd advertises will be able to direct adverts specifically at MENA users.
“We’ll be doing home page advertising – video ads on the homepage. We’ll be giving local advertises the ability to connect and engage with their audience. We’ve had a number of MENA-based advertisers that have engaged globally, but this will be the first time in the region they can actually engage on an advertising basis with the local audience,” said Matthew Glotzbach, MD at YouTube EMEA.
“This is just the first step – there is plenty more to come. Our goal is to continue to innovate in this space. Ultimately we believe that we can build ads that users love,” he added.
A later phase, of which the data has not been announced, will see the local introduction of ‘pre-roll’ adds – which are video ads that role at the start of a video – and ‘trueview’ ads – which users are able to skip and advertisers just pay for every video that is viewed.
YouTube sees over 167 million views per day in the MENA region alone – a 120% increase in the last six months.
“YouTube in the region is phenomenally successful and growing very quickly – a massive audience viewing and a massive audience uploading content. The growth is just tremendous, it has continued to exhilarate,” Glotzbach said.
Globally, YouTube has over 800 million unique users every month with 60 hours of video uploaded every minute. There are 600 million views per day on mobile alone, whilst 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute and 300 hours of video watched on Facebook every day.
“These numbers are so big it’s really hard to get your head around what that means. In a recent speech I did I put it in perspective by saying in the 30 or 40 minutes I was on stage, a few hundred years of video was uploaded onto the YouTube platform,” Glotzbach said.
“In the MENA region we’re at one hour of video being uploaded per minute. It’s just phenomenal how video is engaging each platform – and YouTube is at the centre of that,” he added.
Glotzbach marked MENA as an “exciting” region for YouTube moving forward.
“We’re just getting going in the region. We’re extremely excited with the process we’ve made to date and I’m personally extremely excited about the possibilities because we’re just at the beginning of this new video revolution,” he said.
“I think some of the most interesting stories to be told and some of the most interesting content lies right here in Dubai and broader MENA region,” he added.
Glotzbach also emphasised the significant potential of YouTube as a business tool for enterprises.
“Video is such a powerful medium in terms of engaging your audience. It obviously varies significantly by the type of enterprise, but creating a channel and presence on YouTube – not just to advertise your products but to engage your audience – can give you great business benefit,” he said.
He advised that companies should be investing in a professional to capitalise on the “video revolution” and said in a few years social media and online video will be as engrained in the fabric of a business as internet has become.
“You can make the parallels to the emergence of the internet. If you go back 10 years ago, there was this idea that you needed people who understood the internet, which some people bought into. It’s ludicrous now to think of having an internet department – that department took over the whole market,” Glotzbach said.
“With online video, and YouTube in particular, you have to think of that in a similar way. Yes, you can take traditional TV adverts and put them on YouTube, but you’re not really embracing the platform in terms of the potential for a two-way conversation, which is where you’ll see the most business gain,” he added.