ictQATAR Publishes Report on Digital Media Landscape in Qatar
Profiles Qatar’s Diverse Digital Media Ecosystem and Profile Digital Media Users in the Country
The report is an in-depth review of the digital media ecosystem in Qatar, measuring the impact of the Internet on individuals and businesses, and identifying trends in usage, attitudes and preferences associated with digital content in the country.
In the report, digital media is defined as any content including text, graphics, audio, and video that can be transmitted over the Internet or through computer networks. It is viewed as a complement to more traditional media, such as newspapers, radio and television. The Digital Media Report gives an overview of the digital media ecosystem in Qatar, details usage across segments, addresses how digital content is generated in Qatar and what the growth drivers are in the digital media sector.
Among individual users, Internet penetration stands at 82% overall in Qatar, with emailing, downloading music and movies, watching videos, and researching goods and services representing the most popular usages. Not surprisingly, younger users make-up a large portion of overall Internet users and represent the most active group. The majority of Internet users, 89 percent, access the Internet from home, and 24 percent of users in Qatar access Internet on their mobile devices.
The report found that Internet users in Qatar primarily accessed websites in English, with only 29 percent accessing the Internet in Arabic, despite 42 percent of the population having Arabic as their first language. For both English and Arabic speakers, search engines were the most frequented websites, with social media sites such as Facebook being the second most popular online usage.
Online newspapers were also accessed by 38 percent of Internet users in Qatar, with the Gulf Times being the most popular local online English language newspaper, and Al-Sharq being the most popular online Arabic newspaper. In terms of international online news outlets, BBC was the preferred choice for English speakers, while Al Jazeera was the preferred choice for Arabic speakers.
The Digital Media Landscape report also highlighted efforts by Qatar’s government and private institutions to enhance its communication infrastructure, citing this as a major driver for future growth in the digital media sector. This included the Qatar National Broadband Network, the Es’Hail Satellite Program, and the international submarine cable project.
The report also sites some challenges facing the development of digital media in Qatar, including privacy, the security of data and personal information, and the protection of intellectual property rights. Forty-three percent
of survey respondents stated they were not very confident about the security features available on the Internet.
ictQATAR has taken the lead to address some of these concerns, including the development of the National Information Assurance Framework, investing in building IT skills among its people, introducing a Digital Content Incubation Center to support entrepreneurship in the sector, and establishing a Creative Commons affiliate in Qatar as one way to address digital content rights.
Research for Qatar’s Digital Media Landscape Report was conducted as part of ictQATAR’s broader research on Qatar’s ICT Landscape, which was released earlier this year.