Abu Dhabi Media’s TV network will focus on developing local talent and content with investment in new technology as it launches new channels and programming.
The network, including its two main channels, now called Al Emarat and Abu Dhabi, has adopted the latest media and digital technologies including drones, helicopters and high-speed cameras able to capture up to 1,000 frames per second, to enhance the viewing experience, ADM said.
The total number of Emirati broadcasters and presenters on the network has been increased by 10 to 23, the company said. It has also launched an initiative to develop Emirati drama including providing support and resources to local producers of content across the UAE.
Mohamed Al Mahmood, chairman and managing director of Abu Dhabi Media, said that the strategy supports the evolution of the sector.
“In a fast-paced media industry, it is crucial to continue to align our offerings with the latest market trends and to reflect the dynamic development of the city of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a whole,” he said.
In the Middle East and Africa, TV advertising has registered double-digit growth and is forecast to be the fastest-growing region globally with 12.1 per cent annual growth up to 2018, according to PwC.
The development of Abu Dhabi Media’s TV network has been in the works since May, said Abdul Hadi Al Sheikh, executive director of Abu Dhabi Television.
“It’s a major change in the strategy and position,” he said.
We want to focus on national identity and our roots.”
The network is also now geared to leverage its growing popularity on social media, developing what the industry refers to as the “second screen” provided by mobile devices.
According to PwC, total entertainment and media spending on digital in the Middle East and Africa will increase to US$65.9 billion in 2018 from $43.5bn last year – an annual growth rate of 11 per cent, outstripping global growth of 5 per cent.
“The equation of how media is consumed has dramatically changed,” said Mr Al Sheikh. “We think it’s a great tool and opportunity that will help us increase our engagement and reach.”
Over the past six months, the station has been promoting its social media presence through its various platforms, growing the number of followers by more than 120 per cent.
“At the end of the day, we believe that content is always the king, that’s the equation, regardless of the platform,” said Mr Al Sheikh.