The Abu Dhabi Media Summit fifth edition took place last week with the theme ‘Driving & Sustaining Future Media in MENA and Beyond’ featuring more than 600 participants, 70 speakers and 14 panel discussions led by leaders of the media industry.
Here is my round-up of the summit or brief ..
“We either develop our region, or we let others dismantle it. Find solutions to the challenges, or watch the challenges avalanche. Harness the tools to drive the Arab world forward in the 21st century, or let others use those tools to drag us back to the dark ages,” said Queen Rania.
The Summit, was inaugurate by Queen Rania Al Abdullah, who addressed the audience with a powerful attack on ISIS for ‘hijacking’ the Arab world with horror be-headings on social media that ‘drag us back to the Dark Ages’. It also featured speakers like Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer, The New York Times Company; Gerhard Zeiler, president, Turner Broadcasting System International; Robert A. Kotick, president and CEO, Activision Blizzard; JB Perrette, president, Discovery Networks International; Princess Ameera Al-Taweel, founder and CEO, Time Entertainment.
It was interesting to learn that gaming in the Middle East is growing faster than the global average and the study expects the total gaming segment size to mirror the size of the TV market in seven to eight years. Also, the MENA e-commerce market was worth $2.3bn in 2014 and is expected to grow 13% annually to 2019. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the dominant markets, and will continue to make up almost 40% of the total market to 2020. (saying that I am proud to say that Dubai Media Inc. launched it’s subscription OTT-TV service few days ago)
We all know that mobile capabilities are increasingly important but what we should also keep in mind is that “mobile commerce” is expected to reach 20% of e-commerce revenue in 2015, up from 7% in 2011. DIGITAL is the future whether you are with or against it. TV is here to stay, Radio is here to stay and Newspapers can still compete. Therefore instead of replacing NEW with TRADITIONAL lets SYNERGIZE!
Moving on, the inspiring group of “Wired Women” agreed that the internet and other digital media had raised awareness and changed lives and quoting Princess Ameera Al Taweel, “Social media has provided a platform for the young to unlock their potential.”
After the lively, insightful discussions between industry leaders and innovators I went back home with Noura AlKaabi’s closing remarks in my head. She encouraged all ADMS guests to play their part in driving and sustaining a future media in MENA and beyond, and told us that with 7 billion connected individuals forecast by 2020, the media and e-commerce industry may soon be managers of the world’s largest and most relevant “mall”. Thank you Noura AlKaabi for your optimistic and forward-looking conclusion.