Executive Summary

The Apple Podcasts directory crossed its 800,000th show listing in December 2019, a first for the medium that has been soaring in popularity over the last five years. The industry itself is poised to exceed US$2 billion in advertising revenue globally by 2021 according to a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC.

While we don’t have specific revenue figures for the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, we are seeing a similar exponential growth in popularity of podcasts among regional listeners. The region currently produces an estimated 400+ podcasts.

To help provide a regional context for the industry as well as data about listener preferences and current habits, we launched our first survey earlier this year. Our research brought out three key findings for the regional industry in 2019:

  • There’s a disconnect between local listeners and locally produced content
  • Podcast discovery is still a major challenge
  • Local listeners find podcasts a great way to make the most of their time

Our first State of the Industry report delves into our survey findings, highlights key trends and challenges for the medium and provides our perspective on the regional industry. The report also incorporates inputs from major industry players such as Anghami, Dukkan Media & Podiant.

Next: Note from the CEO