Rise Studios and Parrot Analytics Report: Global and MENA Demand for non-English content on the rise

Rise Studios and Parrot Analytics Report:

Global and MENA Demand for non-English content on the rise

  • Asian-language TV content popularity has surged in recent years, with captivating age-agnostic storylines appealing to MENA audiences.
  • Within the MENA region, the demand for non-English content accounts for over 50% of the total demand, showcasing a remarkable shift in viewer preferences.
  • Specifically, Arabic content now represents over 25% of the total demand in MENA, almost doubling the demand seen in 2022.


Dubai, UAE (February 29, 2024) – The entertainment landscape is experiencing a major shift in consumer demand, with non-English content taking center stage. This is according to new research from Rise Studios – an entertainment company driving investment in content from regional markets, in partnership with Parrot Analytics the leader in global entertainment analytics – exploring audience preferences for content genres and formats in the MENA region. The findings reveal an increasing desire for Asian language TV, as well as Arabic-language content, highlighting fertile ground for global and regional content producers.

Overall, the share of global demand for non-English content grew to 40% in 2023, up from 23% in 2018. In recent years, Asian-language TV has become more prominent in global markets, bridging the demand-supply gap, with series such as The Glory taking the world by storm.

This trend is mirrored in the MENA region, where non-English content now makes up more than half of the demand, led by growing demand for Chinese, Korean, and Japanese language content. These findings emphasize the growing appetite for diverse Asian language content in the region.


Evolution of content genre and language preferences in MENA

Genres with strong appeal harness universal motifs, universally relatable protagonists, and gripping tales that breach cultural barriers, captivating a broad spectrum of viewers. Drama remains the most in demand genre by far, but MENA audiences have shown an increased interest in animation content, growing from 6% to 12% in the last five years, likely due to compelling storylines that appeal to both young and adult audiences.

The report also reveals that the yearning for content in the Arabic language has grown exponentially highlighting an opportunity for homegrown stories.

“The region is in a transformative era in entertainment and our report highlights the nuances of audience preferences, paving the way to fully harness the potential of the market. At Rise Studios, we work with our strategic partners to scout for stories that resonate with the 375 million Arabic speakers worldwide while also appealing to international viewers. By combining global appeal with local relevance, we produce content that is not only in high demand but also culturally rich, solidifying our presence in the global entertainment space,” commented Amanda Turnbull CEO and Co-Founder, Rise Studios.

“Working alongside Rise Studios, we’ve uncovered the vibrant dynamics of MENA’s media consumption. This partnership is more than a venture into analytics; it’s a commitment to elevating the narrative richness of the region. Together, we’re unlocking the potential of data to craft stories that not only entertain but also connect and reflect the diverse tapestry of global audiences,” added Wared Seger, CEO Parrot Analytics.

Rise Studios is an entertainment company driving investment in content from regional markets through impactful data-driven insights and expertise that identifies, with precision, the content audiences want to see. Commissioned by Rise Studios, this research was conducted by Parrot Analytics, an industry leader in global audience demand measurement.


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