Saudi Arabia is now “the biggest user of YouTube per capita in the world,” according to Reuters. Who’s driving this movement? The youth.
Seeking a reprieve from the region’s bland and often government-controlled TV programming, young Saudis, who make up a large percentage of the country’s 28.3 million people, are turning to YouTube for more relatable content. One forum cashing in on YouTube’s regional popularity is UTURN, which has over 286 million views on the site. One show called “3al6ayer,” or “On the Fly,” gets its cues from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”:
While the government monitors social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, it has not yet censored or limited YouTube content stemming from within the country. This freedom is precious to entertainment agencies like UTURN. “Everybody who works at UTURN was raised in Saudi Arabia and understands the sensitivities,” Abdullah Mando, who helped found the company, tells Reuters.
Additional new research says Saudis are also the world’s most active Twitter users. Thirty-two percent of Saudi Internet users are active on Twitter (which means they don’t just have an account, they actually use it).