We live in an age when volumes of information are available in wide variety of formats about any topic we can think of, including, of course, entertainment. In this survey we find that residents in these MENA countries turn to a multitude of sources when forming opinions about entertainment, including personal and professional opinions, promotional content, and information in both digital and traditional formats.
Among internet users, social media are the mostly likely to have an influence on entertainment choices, described as important by nearly two-thirds of internet users in the six countries covered in the study (64%). Notably, three-fourths of internet users in Saudi Arabia and the UAE say social media are important entertainment influencers (74% and 70%, respectively).
More than half of respondents, though, consider a wide variety of other sources important in informing their entertainment choices: word-of-mouth (whether in person, on the telephone, or digitally), user reviews and professional critiques, advertising, and other information directly from the source.
As a general trend, residents of Saudi Arabia and the UAE are more likely to find all sources of information important when making choices about entertainment, while Tunisians and Egyptians believe they are less influenced by these sources. Western expatriates and those who have achieved higher levels of education are more likely to say multiple sources of information are important when forming opinions about entertainment.
In addition to listening to the opinions of others, internet users also like to share their own opinions about entertainment online. The majority chooses to post their opinions for others to see (55% do so), commenting on a wide variety of entertainment topics including online videos, user-generated content, sports, television, films and news. Internet users in Tunisia are mostly like to share their opinions online (81% do so), while fewer in Lebanon do so (39%).