The Arab world’s first YouTube FanFest was held at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City on March 10 inviting fans of YouTube content creators to come and view their stars live.
The day was divided into two shows, one for females and another for families. More than 2,500 people attended the shows, which featured YouTube creators such as host Omar Hussein, Bader Saleh, Hatoun Al Qadi, Njoud Al Shammari, and more.
“We are proud to have hosted the Arab world’s first YouTube FanFest in Jeddah. YouTube’s continuous growth in the region and especially in Saudi Arabia warranted an event like FanFest, which was a celebration of the creativity that lives on YouTube in the kingdom. We were happy to see the creators performing for their fans on a live stage, a first for many of them,” says Diana Baddar, head of YouTube partnerships for the Middle East and North Africa.
This region’s first show also marked the 25th YouTube FanFest around the world.
FanFest is the latest in a series of announcements by YouTube showing its commitment to the region. In October 2016, YouTube launched Batala especially for female content creators in the MENA region followed by the opening of the YouTube Space in Dubai Sport City in December 2016.
FanFest is the latest in a series of YouTube events in MENA, following the launch of Batala in 2016. Fan meet-ups held over the past two years in Saudi Arabia and the UAE attracted more than 6,000 fans, says the company.
YouTube creators in the Middle East and North Africa continue to grow with the number of creators tripling in the region in the last three years. These creators are part of the growth of YouTube in the region, and especially in Saudi Arabia where watch time grew by 50 percent and by 65 percent on mobile in 2016
At a glance: YouTube in KSA
- More than 50 channels in MENA have more than one million subscribers, more than 20 are in Saudi Arabia
- There was a 100% growth in total uploads coming from Saudi last year
- 15% of total watch time of local Saudi content is coming from outside the country
- Saudi contributed a third of total watch time in MENA in 2016