Tech & Communications

Lack of data on Qatari media market a challenge to decision making

by  — 8 October 2013

The perceived lack of data on the media market in Qatar and the impact it has had on decision making has been the two most pressing issues facing the local media industry, explained Everette E. Dennis, the dean and CEO of Northwestern University Qatar (NUQ).

Qatar Media Industries Forum panelists share data on the country’s media market (Image NU-Q)

At the 3rd Qatar Media Industries Forum hosted by Northwestern University Qatar (NUQ) representatives from the media industry discussed the need for more data that could garner insight into both media consumers and pattern of consumptions in the country.

The CEO of the Pan Arab Research Center, Sami Raffoul presented data on media spend in the GCC and noted that advertising revenues within traditional media have steadily increased in the region, adding that Qatar’s market had experienced ”exponential growth” compared to other GCC countries. He also told The Edge that the Qatari market had the scope for introduction of more niche publications, especially considering the population growth of Qatar. 

Despite this apparent growth shown by numbers, Raffoul said that it remains “hard to measure investment in this market at the moment,” explaining that more players need to provide their own data before the investment becomes measurable. Raffoul also alluded to the challenges of gathering quantitative data on digital media spend due to sheer volume and variance of portals through which to advertise. Hussein Fakhri, CEO of Agency 222 affirmed the need to invest in research given the current limitations of data to drive business decisions.

Fakhri also presented some preliminary research results of the agency’s latest survey which is expected to be released in the coming weeks. According to the findings, 92 percent of respondents in Qatar access the web on a daily basis indicating that dependence on online resources is extremely high. Other recent surveys by ictQATAR on the ICT landscape in Qatar and Northwestern University’s study on media use in the Middle East revealed similar results.

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