Based on research that showed what Saudi and UAE tweeps want to see on Twitter, the streaming platform has collaborated with regional media partners for weekly shows.
Twitter has announced the launch of six short weekly shows in Arabic in collaboration with partners, CNBC Arabia, Harvard Business Review Arabia, Kooora, Sky News Arabia, Sayidaty and MBC Group. The shows have been created in response to feedback from Twitter users on what topics would interest them on the platform during the coronavirus outbreak.
On April 19, CNBC Arabia launched the first of a series of weekly episodes titled Markets In A Week, which wraps up the performance of regional and global markets in the previous week in a five-minute format on Sunday 9.30 am UAE time. Harvard Business Review Arabia will host a programme titled Adapt and Learn at 10 pm on Mondays for the next six months, to create awareness of the new business models that are emerging today because of the coronavirus. The host of the programme will interview experts from different fields to share best practices of working from home and managing a crisis.
The next five weeks will see Kooora, a leading publication for football in the region, bring the latest football news regarding all leagues and championships, with information on the players’ status to show how they are spending their days during the lockdown.
Wednesday 8.15 pm will be dedicated to Sky News Arabia which will use its show #OnStream to focus on COVID-19 and discuss the most trending topics on social media during this time. Sayidaty has the 6 pm slot on Thursdays, where Saudi influencer, life coach and happiness ambassador Turki Qashlan will host the Hello Home show and discuss the physical and mental challenges people face in a lockdown. The programme will run every Thursday for ten weeks.
Twitter has also collaborated with MBC1 to bring a show called Celebrities at Home that will run for four weeks on its platform. This show sheds light on how celebrities are spending their time in isolation and will highlight the lives of many heroes on the front lines like security guards. Episodes are exclusive to Twitter.
“Twitter has worked very closely with our content partners to bring these shows as these partnerships are the cornerstone of our business model,” commented Kinda Ibrahim, Director of Media Partnerships at Twitter MENA.
“Our partners see this as an expansion of the business and this gives us the opportunity to collaborate with them and create compelling content on Twitter as the need changes. This is why we are launching a programming grid with topics that we have learnt are relevant to our platform users based on research,” she pointed out.
Speaking about CNBC Arabia’s participation, Hanaa Hamzeh, Director of Programming & News said: “We are proud to partner with Twitter to provide audiences with a weekly market wrap show that brings people up to date with potential impacts on their investments.”
Ali Jaber, Group TV Director of MBC Group, remarked: “This joint initiative with Twitter falls in line with our strategy of multi-platform, multi-touch points delivery, especially during these critical times of Coronavirus outbreak, when millions of individuals stay home and observe social distancing; it also aims at strengthening the digital amplification of MBC’s unique and most-watched content in Ramadan.”
Samah Safa, Business Development Director at Kooora.com noted: “Through the years, Kooora has been the destination for all sports fans in the MENA region. We are delighted to offer this new programme on Twitter that will primarily help all football fans to keep up with everything their favourite teams and players are up to, but also the developments of the current football season and the upcoming ones.”
These programmes were primarily created to cater to the needs of Twitter users, Ibrahim reiterated.
The survey conducted by Twitter in Saudi Arabia and the UAE on how people are coping with COVID-19 showed that 88% of Saudi participants and 93% of UAE respondents are witnessing change to their daily routine.
Respondents from both countries said they spent most of their lockdown time on streaming services and social media. Both sets of respondents mentioned that they looked increasingly for news on the local and global economy and uplifting messages. In terms of topics of interest, while both Saudi and UAE participants expressed a common interest in entertainment, self-improvement, education and consumer technology, the former said they had an inclination for gaming while UAE respondents expressed a preference for e-commerce.
“This research shed some light on changes in behaviour and shift in preference of content in light of the new situation. At this time, we wanted to be agile and work with partners to bring credible content from credible partners to the user and help our partners grow. Since they produce a lot of content, we worked with them to ensure that they are creating programmes that are relevant to users on our platform,” added Ibrahim.