The Middle East is a mobile society. In November 2011, Informa Telecoms & Media announced that mobile penetration- the number of mobile phones per citizen- in the Middle East jumped ahead that of the US with 97%. It is estimated that by 2012, the Middle East will surpass 250 million mobile subscribers, and in 2016, it is estimated that mobile subscriptions in the Middle East will reach 352 million. Middle Easterners with data plans account for 13% of all mobile revenues in the Middle East; however, the market for smartphones is expected to grow. In the UAE alone, smartphone penetration is around 47% and is expected to rise to 70.35% in 2016. In Saudi Arabia, smartphone penetration is around 25% and is expected to rise to 48.63% by the end of year 2016.
Middle Eastern consumers who currently have smartphones are embracing apps. 8 in 10 smartphone users in the Middle East download apps, 95% have apps on their phones, and 82% download apps at least once a month. This level of activity should attract companies and brands to launch apps in this burgeoning market, like Myriam Fares has done already with the launch of her official app powered by Mobile Roadie.
Myriam Fares is a Lebanese pop singer who is the first Arab artist to have her own iPhone and iPad mobile app to engage with fans. Launched at the same time of her latest album, Min Oyouni, which topped Virgin Megastore’s U.A.E. charts in just a couple days, fans could scan the QR code on the album to instantly download her app.
According to her record label EMI Music Arabia, Myriam takes an active role in engaging with her fans; after all, she did promise her fans that she would “make time to help manage the app because it’s an important project and we’re already seeing a taste of its success.”
Success is an understatement for this singer’s app which has been downloaded over 75,000 times from fans spanning all across the world from Alaska, US to Tokyo, Japan, in addition to her home country of Lebanon. Through the app, fans can listen to exclusive tracks, buy her music through iTunes, download ringtones, view exclusive videos and photos, compete for badges via social network sites, chat on the Fan Wall, book Myriam for private events, and more. Myriam also holds exclusive chats with her fans via the app on a periodic basis. Below is a screenshot of the app featuring the additional sections of the app.
Fans are attracted to all her app has to offer, visiting all the sections a total of more than 13 million times. The most popular section of the app is the Comments section which has attracted more than 66% or 8.9 million visits of all section visits. Over 25,000 comments have been made in the app by fans. The level of activity in the Comments section is a testament to the power of the app as a communication tool for fans. In addition to these impressive statistics, more than 212,000 videos have been viewed and close to 3 million songs have been played. The most listened to song on her app is “Gasayed” with over 1.2 million plays.
Myriam’s app has created a community of fans who can chat with each other and compete for points for the title of “Top User” which recognizes Myriam’s number one fan. Users can earn points by posting comments and photos, watching videos, sharing via social networks, listening to Myriam’s songs, and adding items to their “Favorites” list. The current top user has close to 190,000 points while the runner-up is close behind with 170,000 points. Adding competition gives users another reason to keep visiting and remain active on the app.
The official Myriam Fares app continues to attract downloads because it offers fans a place where they can stay updated on all things Myriam and build a community with other users who share the same interests. An app should offer value to the user that he or she can’t get anywhere else. By offering value, people will be more likely to download your app.
Become a “Roadie” and download the official Myriam Fares app: http://road.ie/myriam-fares