The Gulf News has reported a story which explains how YouTube has become a preferred alternate source of information for young Saudis. The news agency has reported that that Google, which owns YouTube, comply with the Saudi government whenever they request any video to be removed due to it being unsuitable for viewership in the Kingdom. It may also be asked to be removed due to legal reasons; however the Saudi Government has been very supportive of the online video database, by not asking them to remove many videos. YouTube has reportedly also offered assistance in supporting new video channels which are produced in the region, as some of the YouTube channels earn millions of dollars for their producers and creators.
So why it is that Saudis are the world’s biggest fans of YouTube. People residing in Saudi Arabia watch way more hours of YouTube videos per person than any other country in the world.Google has also launched a campaign to develop online videos in this rapidly growing consumer base. The viewership has reportedly increased five times over the last year. This has prompted Google to hold seminars and create closer relations with Arabic language web video producers.Around 60 % of the total population of 350 million people in the Arab world is below the age of 25, with internet access in the region to about 70 million users. This has been a 300% growth over the last five years.
In accordance to number provided by a UAE-based business, Internet penetration will reach to 150 million by the end of this year. The traditional media in Saudi Arabia fails to engage youngsters who turn to internet for their choice of TV shows, sports or international news.This trend has also been reportedly sweeping across the broader region which hosts 310 million video views every day. This makes the Middle East and North Africa the second highest online viewership in the world, after the United States of America.
Although this has been the main reason of concern in the region, due to the rise in political expression, the Saudi government still holds the authority to remove any and all videos, which they may deem unfit for viewership, from access within the region.YouTube is a great source of knowledge for all age groups and it has become a vital tool in learning new skills and hobbies, while you are within the comfort of your own home. Countries that do not allow access to YouTube have seen learning graphs go down in the region. Even with YouTube banned in the country most young people are now aware of applications and sites to over ride the country’s ban and allow them to access YouTube via Proxy servers Etc.
So why should any country choose to ban such an informative site, especially since YouTube has allowed countries to remove content from their region’s access if they deem necessary. Even with strict religious and cultural laws, Saudi Arabia has proved to have a far reaching vision, as they have allowed their young ones to learn freely from YouTube.
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