How to Navigate The Dynamic Media and Advertising Industry in Saudi

The Kingdom’s media and advertising industry is blazing a trail of innovation, passion and boundless opportunities across three exciting sectors: football, e-gaming, and music.

As we delve into the investments, experiences and trends that are defining this evolving landscape, we will uncover the ingredients driving this momentum while highlighting the roles which creativity, data-driven insights and consumer behaviour are playing.

Football Advertising Makes a Powerplay

Football culture runs deep across KSA with the remarkable ability to unite millions. This lends itself to the creation of endless advertising opportunities.

Successful brand partnerships have emerged through Saudi football clubs such as Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr and Al-Ittihad, who are connecting with devoted fans through stadium advertising, branded jerseys, and engaging digital campaigns.

Digital has become a powerhouse for football consumption in Saudi Arabia, with an impressive 82 per cent of internet users following football-related content online (according to recent data from Statista).

Moreover, global sports media companies like Footballco have invested in the region through their acquisition of (the largest football and sports platform in MENA, with 80 per cent reach of the football audience).

Football’s growing popularity is fueled by an evolving fandom, increasing demand for personalised experiences, as well as the players’ lifestyles. The inherent surge in advertising opportunities is following closely behind. 

Tapping into the Growing E-Gaming Industry

This unprecedented surge is largely being driven by a generation of tech-savvy enthusiasts. Arab News reports that the number of e-gaming enthusiasts in KSA reached 21.2 million in 2022, with an impressive annual growth rate of 16.7 per cent.

Investments in gaming facilities, high-profile e-sports tournaments, and strategic partnerships demonstrate Saudi Arabia’s commitment to becoming a regional gaming hub.

Major brands and platforms are seizing the moment by engaging with the gaming community through sponsorships, in-game advertising, and collaborations with influential gaming personalities.

Division – which we are proud to include in DMS’s portfolio of partners serves as a unique marketplace where brands can make an impact on gaming, with over 850 gamers already onboarded.

The marketplace alone unlocks thousands of streaming hours which brands can utilise to engage in discussions with fans and potential audiences.

Music Advertising is Resonating Louder Than Ever Before

Music holds a special place in the hearts of Saudi Arabia’s consumers, who are witnessing the revival of live music performances, together with the growth of music streaming platforms.

Our partner, Anghami, boasts a downloads base of 30+ million in Saudi Arabia alone. This speaks volumes about the impact which music has on people’s lives.

Brands strategically align themselves with local and international artists, harnessing data-driven insights to offer personalized music recommendations, while integrating adverts into the streaming experience.

These investments are resonating deeply with audiences in KSA, as they help to forge lasting connections between brands and their consumers.

The Challenges and Opportunities

 These dynamic developments present several challenges for advertisers, but they also serve as catalysts for transformative opportunities. Brands must navigate the shifts in consumer behaviour, the relentless march of technology, as well as the ever-evolving landscape.

A recent Ipsos survey found that 67 per cent of Saudi consumers are more likely to engage with ads that match their interests, underscoring the importance of culturally relevant advertising.

Embracing digital transformation, understanding the preferences of the younger generation, and exploring innovative ad formats all become essential priorities for brands seeking success.

The winners will invariably be those who seamlessly blend technology with creative storytelling, captivating hearts and minds to leave a lasting impact on audiences.

By embracing innovation and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, advertisers can create deeper connections, capture their audience’s attention and ultimately drive meaningful results.

With the football, e-gaming, and music sectors becoming epicenters of investment, they are redefining how brands connect with target audiences.

From football stadiums to immersive virtual gaming and music streaming, the power of storytelling, data-driven insights and technological advancements all converge to create transformative advertising experiences.

We must all remind ourselves that in order to unleash the full potential of media and advertising, we need to uplift our collective commitment to innovation and creativity, while enhancing our genuine understanding of the local culture and the diverse audiences which we seek to reach and engage with. Together, we can all shape this dynamic landscape and leave an incredible mark on the future of Saudi Arabia’s media and advertising industry.