Inside the Middle East’s love of YouTube

Digital Parenting, Dad Vloggers and the launch of new products, were among the biggest developments of the past year.

Damian Radcliffe
3 min readApr 9, 2020

Image source: TechChruch

Key Stats

  • Saudi Arabia is the biggest user of YouTube per capita worldwide, Google reports.
  • More than 60% of YouTube viewers in MENA are millennials. The Washington D.C. based Pew Research Center defines “anyone born between 1981 and 1996” as a millennial.
  • In Egypt, 77% of millennials watch YouTube every day. “That’s more than any other platform, even TV,” Google declared.
  • YouTube is the sixth highest ranked brand in UAE, and the third highest in KSA and Egypt, the latest YouGovBrandIndex revealed.

Popular Vloggers aren’t just teens and millennials

Saudi vlogger Muhammad Moshaya hit 8 billion views to his YouTube channel in late 2019, according to data from Socialbakers.

The family-oriented YouTuber — who uses his channel to depict his life with his children and his travels around the world — has 14.5 million subscribers.

In contrast, the next most popular channel, Super Somaa, which features a Super Kid, Somaa, who helps solve the problems of all humans in general, and his friends in particular, has 2.1 million subscribers and just under 9 million views.

Dads run the top 3 parenting channels in MENA, Google has established.

Views to, via Socialbakers.

The Rise of Digital Parenting

Meanwhile, parents in MENA increasingly rely on YouTube “to act as a third parent or advisor who offers support,” Google insights show.

The platform is the most-used site by parents in Saudi Arabia, and the second most-used site by parents in the UAE after Google Search. And with more and more millennials becoming parents, YouTube views on parenting content in the MENA region is growing 4.3x faster than the rest of the planet.

Damian Radcliffe

Chambers Professor in Journalism @uoregon | Fellow @TowCenter @CardiffJomec @theRSAorg | Write @wnip @ZDNet | Host Demystifying Media podcast