Diversification opportunities in MENA

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on entertainment and media revenues and patterns of consumption in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), just as it has across the world. This, coupled with MENA’s ambitions to diversify away from oil, makes the region an interesting proposition for new opportunities, particularly in digital technology since some countries in the region have made huge investments in this area.

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the government and private sector has spent $15bn on ICT infrastructure since 2017. As a result, the entire country has internet coverage which is accelerating cultural change. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was also one of the first countries to offer commercial 5G services.

A report by PwC highlighted that digital revenue is expected to make up 46% of total entertainment and media revenue in MENA by 2024. WOLF, a brand successfully delivering the Arabic world’s primary audio content creation platform, is well-placed to significantly drive that revenue.

Respectful of the cultural expectations of our users, we provide people living in MENA with a festival experience, whether as a user, performer or producer, on virtual stages entertaining a live audience of 1000s.  

Being an audio-only app means people can use their stage names, and users can interact safely with no pressure on how they would look in videos or concerns of being judged. So performers of all types can express themselves and perform within the app. 

We are perfectly placed to support the Middle East as it sets out its plans to diversify away from oil. With investments in future-facing sectors becoming the focus, WOLF is a proposition that is an ideal fit to aid that commercial diversification and growth.

3D metaverse snippet of Saudi pop star Zena Emad, performing on a WOLF festival stage.

There are two parts to MENA’s ambitions. One is strategic and financial – the need to expand its investment opportunities away from oil. The other is cultural.

WOLF is nodding to both. Delivering an entertainment metaverse to the large youth demographic of MENA which is experiencing a rapidly changing cultural expectation within a region that has been more restricted than Western societal norms.  

Internet access and mobile technology has become more freely available, generating awareness and expectations for the youth demographic which is leading to a huge change within the region. It is a region now bursting with creative energy.

This shift in cultural norms in MENA has been demonstrated by the series of festivals held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the MDL Beast banner.  The concept of hundreds of thousands of men and women mixing at a dance event would have been hard to conceive five years ago.

WOLF’s regional expertise equips us with the ability to successfully offer the people of MENA with an opportunity to perform, belong and be entertained within a bespoke respectful virtual metaverse environment. 

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