English is almost as popular as Arabic for watching videos online, perhaps due to the amount of English content available on the internet and the ability to access it. Half of those who watch online videos do so in English compared to approximately two-thirds who do so in Arabic (52% vs. 69%). Online videos are similar to video games in this respect, in that both English and Arabic are common. In fact, more people play video games in English than Arabic (67% vs. 56%). In comparison, the Arabic/English distinction is much more pronounced for television content, of which only a third watches in English compared with eight in ten who watch in Arabic (30% vs. 81%).
There are, though, wide variations in language preferences by country – for online videos as well as other media. In Egypt, nearly everyone watches videos in Arabic and only one in ten watches in English. In Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Tunisia, Arabic is preferred – about eight in ten watch in Arabic – but many also watch in English. English videos edge out Arabic in Qatar and the UAE, but this is driven by the ethnic make-up of these countries. In Qatar, eight in ten non-Arab expats watch videos in English and only one in ten in Arabic, while Qatari citizens and expats are only slightly more likely to watch videos in Arabic than English (8 in 10 watches in Arabic, 6 in 10 watches in English). There is a greater division among Arabs and non-Arabs in the UAE. Among online video viewers in this country, all non-Arab expats watch videos in English and almost none watch in Arabic, while almost all Arabs in the country (nationals and expats) watch videos in Arabic and two in ten watch in English. Nearly two-thirds of Indians (within the Asian expat population) watch Hindi videos and nearly two-thirds of Tunisians watch French videos online (63% and 64%, respectively).