According to the report, 54% of regular podcast listeners have increased their consumption in 2021 compared to 2020.
As podcast listenership continues to climb, Apple remains the biggest podcasting platform with over 80% of podcast listeners getting their podcasts from the platform in Saudi Arabia, according to a survey by Rising Giants Network. This is the first study into podcast consumption in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by RGN.
Titled ‘Podcast Consumption in Saudi Arabia 2021,’ the study focuses on consumption, language, and personal preferences, and listening habits.
According to the report, Anghami is up-and-coming in KSA and changing perceptions. This could be due to Anghami’s investment in exclusive shows, namely the show they did with Arab pop sensation Elissa. Female podcast listeners are more likely than male podcast listeners to use Anghami, while male podcast listeners prefer Spotify.
The report said that 85% of RGN users listen to podcasts using Apple Podcasts, and 32% preferred Anghami as their favourite platform.
Furthermore, most podcast listeners engage with audio podcasts, over video who use video or both audio and video (35%). A higher percentage of those who consume podcasts via audio than those who use video prefer their ideal length to be 20 minutes or less. And, for those that actively listen to podcasts, the average ideal length of a podcast episode is 27 minutes.
Podcast listeners surveyed overwhelmingly said that the main language of their favourite podcast is Arabic. Female podcast listeners are more likely than their male counterparts who prefer Arabic as the main language of their favourite podcast (85% versus 70%).
According to the report, 30% of survey respondents said that they listen to podcasts on daily basis, while 22% said they listen to podcasts around three times a week. Overall, 67% of podcast listeners tune in at least once a week.
Consumers aged 25-34 are the most likely to listen to podcasts once a week or more (72%), closely followed by those aged 45-54 (71%). Similarly, podcast listeners aged 25-34 has increased podcast consumption in 2021 compared to 2020. Given the age demographic, this could indicate popularity among young working professionals.
Female podcast listeners are most likely to listen to a podcast while doing housework or chores (51%) while male podcast listeners are most likely to listen to a podcast while driving (41%).
Consumers who live in the Central region are the most likely to listen to podcasts once a week or more, followed by those who live in the Eastern region and then those living in the Western region. Across the regions, the increase in podcast consumption for podcast listeners this year compared to last year remains similar (52%-56%), suggesting this is a truth across the whole of KSA, regardless of location.
Demonstrating the increasing demand for podcasts is that over half (54%) of podcast listeners surveyed said their
consumption has increased in 2021 compared to 2020, compared to less than a fifth (17%) who said it has decreased. Just over a quarter (26%) of podcast listeners said their consumption has remained the same this year as last year.
For podcast listeners, entertainment, with all of its subgenres, came in the lead in terms of preferred content, followed by art, sports, religion, news, wellbeing, current affairs, education, comedy and finally technology.
There are some overall trends that do not differ much when exploring demographics – such as length preference (around 26 minutes), language preference (Arabic), and genre preference (entertainment). However, there are some variables that the research has shown across the demographics, which should be considered for successful audience targeting. For example, the youngest generation prefers video formats and Spotify as a platform, as well as differences between male and female consumers when it comes to when they listen. Overall, what’s clear from the research is the continued and growing popularity of podcasts in KSA.