Is this the year of YouTube content creation in Qatar ?

I’ve been talking about the importance of content creation that’s hyper local. Around a month and a half ago, I spoke at Northwestern’s special event about Big Data and the Qatar Media Industry panel before that.
It was a topic that pulled in quite a great crowd. It was surprising to me though how there’s so little data out there. More interestingly though, that there were so few people contributing to the creation of content that actually rakes in results. I thought I’d share a few stats from a slide I presented.

68% – % of users who watch YouTube on mobile (compared to 18% last year)

10m – The number of impressions needed to comfortably monetize (if you don’t have a niche target audience)

6th – ILQ is the 6th most watched channel and 2nd most viewed brand on YouTube

1.6m – The number of views on ILQ’s channel

50,000 views = $30 Yep, Google gives you around 30 USD per 50k views. Not much of a business case if we’re to encourage more local content creation. For a country like Qatar, you’re not going to be making very much since if you’re targeting the local market, you’re not going to make more than perhaps 150,00 views per video. 300 Riyals is probably enough to cover a meal or two for the team.
YouTube should be helping, but they’re not. Actually YouTube sent over a representative to Qatar during an event at QNCC where they spoke about how they would love to see more people create videos in the Middle East, and of course, in Qatar. However it’s all talk in my opinion. They haven’t really done much to incentivise anyone.

1- When people create content, more often than not, they hope to cash out. People want to make money or get famous so that they can eventually make money. It’s not a bad thing, people need to make a living and making money means that people can invest in creating higher quality content

2- As mentioned the revenue generated per impression on YouTube (there’s different ad revenue models by the way) is something like .0006 US Cents. If you’re doing well, you’re still not going to make money. In fact the only proper way to generate revenue is with direct sponsors (no thanks to YouTube).

3- Even if you DID want to make 300 Riyals a video, make sure you have the option to through YouTube because they haven’t activated partner accounts or monetization for many countries in the region.

Now, I don’t really know what their algorythm is and I don’t know how they decide how much to pay out, but it seems to me that they’d definitely need different payouts for smaller markets.

I’m not trying to be discouraging here. Quite the opposite. I’m showing that despite the lack of support from YT’s side, we’re seeing a sudden surge in interest from budding film makers and content creators. There’s also an interest from companies to sponsor cool stuff online directly; Qtips and the Weekly Roundup are two examples.

So what’s happening? This year we’ve got loads of new YouTubers who are from or based out of Qatar. In fact, some of them are either part of the ILQ crew or part of the media network! So what programs can you expect?

So who are a few? (Note I’ve included both regular content as well as upcoming shows)

 


The Weekly Event RoundUp (with Hamad Al Amari)

Language: English
What’s it about? 
As the name suggests, it’s a weekly show that covers events that are happening around Qatar.
Linkhttp://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9G_Ug3avO9M638-xFlyZF3t4c_R8PcKU

 


QTips (with Mr. Q)

Language: English
What’s it about?
The aim is to provide bite sized tips related to Qatari culture and ettiquette in a simple and fun way. Yes, I’m one of the hosts here 🙂 So far the reaction has been positive and we’re seeing an increase in views week on week.
Linkhttp://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9G_Ug3avO9MVdRZksotQSk6EAaXzBUZq

 


Mr. Q Visits
Language: English
What’s it about?
It’s just me walking around and vlogging what’s going on around the country (and some abroad where I compare cultures). Some episodes include Mr. Q checks out the World Cup Plane, Mr. Q and The Qatari Guy visit Munich for a Day, Mr. Q visits Korea, Mr. Q visits Ikea and more! I’d love to see MORE local vlogs. Know any?
Linkhttp://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0EEC54382958A0AE

 


Top 5’s  (with Anya) – English & Arabic

Language: English & Arabic
What’s it about?
It’s Top 5 everything in Qatar. Top 5 cafes. Top 5 places you’ve never heard about. Top 5 vehicles driven. Top 5 shawarma shops. Maybe even Top 5 Top 5s! We’re super excited about this one. First episode launches in March.

 

We’ve also got:


Ignitition (with Ramy) 

Language: English & Arabic
What’s it about?
Cars. Cars. Cars. Ramy’s goal is to create a local version of Top Gear (but with more focus on cars than three guys teasing each other for being short, geeky and old). He’s created some great videos. One of them (Crazy Lamborghini test drive) got over 100,000 views too. His goal is to build relationships with car dealers so he can create beautiful videos about them and hopefully even honest reviews. Oh and ignore his username, he lived in Saudi and now he’s here in Qatar. He’s part of the Q-crew now, you hear that Saudi?!
Linkhttp://www.youtube.com/exoticspotterKSA/

 


What’s in the box? / Top Apps / Gadget Reviews (by Vodafone)

Language: English and Arabic
What’s it about?
Vodafone’s been creating original content regularly, in fact, they’ve just hit a million views recently too! The interesting thing here is that there’s a huge demand for niche videos in Arabic. Subscribe to their channel for videos about the latest devices, must download apps and those sweet sweet unboxings (yes, yours truly is also a host here).
Link: http://www.youtube.com/vodafoneqatar


Klmat Ras (various, including Hamad Al Amari and others) 

Language: Arabic
What’s it about?
It’s a humorous show that talks about issues. The first episode passed 80,000 views in under a week. It’s a show where Qataris poke fun at themselves and mention serious topics like… when’s the airport going to open?! I seriously love these guys that it’s unhealthy.  I’m proud of their work!
Linkhttp://www.youtube.com/klmatras

 

Wran Sade (animation)
Language: None!
What’s it about?
These guys are simply amazing. They asked one question. How do we raise the topic of traffic safety in a fun and interesting way? They came up with a great animated series! You have to check it out. These guys have amazing skills! I want an animated Mr. Q!
Linkhttp://www.youtube.com/wransade

 


Dr. Hamood (with himself)
Language: Arabic
What’s it about?
Let me first explain this guys back story. This guy tried to get on QTV. Sadly he was rejected. Why? I don’t really know. So Hamood tried on other channels to get on tv and sadly never was given the chance. So he turned to YouTube. It was on YouTube where he was able to do guides, talk about serious issues (that show’s called Words from the Heart), and also does one man comedy skits. I have to say, this guy has some serious guts with some of the stuff he does!
Linkhttp://www.youtube.com/user/7mod502

Of course, there’s also television shows putting ALL their content on YouTube. I’d like to emphasize the awesomness of Al Rayyan TV. These guys are not only creating cool shows (like a QATARI version of COPS), but they’re sharing it all online too. Right now it’s all in Arabic for all you non arabic speaks

It’s exciting to see what’s going to come next. Right now, the only way to keep going is

Do you have a YouTube show you’re working on? Want to join the movement? Leave me a comment!

Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.