Programmatic in Saudi Arabia

Researches & Insights
May 25, 2022 / Author: Elizaweta Zhuk

With technological evolution, there is rapidly growing demand for various advertising technologies in Saudi Arabia. In addition, there is a massive increase in investment in digital advertising. So Saudi Arabia is land with a huge potential for digital advertising.

Digital ad market

Digital advertising market is rapidly growing during the last few years. Thus, over the past years it has increased by 28%, driven by the high level of investments. Saudi Arabia digital ad spend is the largest in the MENA region. According to Statista, ad spending in the Digital Advertising market is expected to reach $1,309.00m in 2022.

Source: Statista

Programmatic is one of the most popular technologies in Saudi Arabia. It is expected that 88% of digital ads revenue will be generated through programmatic advertising in 2026.

Source: Statista

Available audience

With an internet population of just over 34.84 million internet users in 2022, increasing by 1.5% between 2021 and 2022, there is high demand for mobile internet connection. According to DataReportal, there were 41.03 million cellular mobile connections in Saudi Arabia at the start of 2022. It was equivalent to 115% of the total population. That’s why more and more brands have focused their budgets and strategy on mobile advertising.

It’s also important that there are 29.30m (82.3%) social media users in 2022. Based on Kepios analysis, the number of social network users increased by 1.5 million (+5.4%) between 2021 and 2022. One of the reasons for such growth is the high rate of smartphone use. So that’s why brands should pay more attention to optimizing ad strategies for mobile users.

Source: DataReportal

Ad formats

The market’s largest segment is Search Advertising with a market volume of US$539.00m in 2022.

The number of social network users has increased in recent years with a push to pay more attention from brands to this ad channel. This isn’t surprising considering the fact that more and more users can be reached with social media ads from year to year.

Source: DataReportal

So more and more brands increase investments in social network ads. In 2022, Social Media Ads spending is $430.50 million. According to the Statista Report, this tendency is expected to continue to reach a market volume of $731.50m by 2026.


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Top 3 Ad Network in Saudi Arabia
  • MediaFem 
  • OutBrain
  • PropellerAds

E-commerce market in Saudi Arabia

The E-commerce market has grown much faster since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Fuelled by a young population as well, the e-commerce market in Saudi Arabia is the fastest growing in the world. It was the 27th largest market for eCommerce with a revenue of US$8 billion in 2021.

Revenues for e-commerce continue to grow. It is projected to reach $12.19bn in 2022. Moreover, revenue is expected to grow annually by 18.80%, resulting in a projected market volume of $20.44bn by 2025. Brands could take advantage of this trend by developing a strong marketing strategy and, with the right combination of tools, becoming highly memorable in consumers’ minds.

Whether which tasks brands want to complete, they should look into their consumers’ minds. By taking a closer look at how the target audience behaves, brands can adjust their strategies to succeed. More and more, consumers are shopping online and on their mobiles. So there are significant opportunities for brands.

Source: DataReportal

Regardless of whether they shop online or in store, consumers in the country are heavily influenced by their online activities — 48% of users getting their shopping ideas and inspirations online.The role of video in the customer path to purchase in the country is essential as well. In Saudi Arabia, 20% of consumers watch online videos when they’re researching products and services. Based on research, YouTube introduced 50% of shoppers to a new brand. As a result, one in two users visit an offline or online store after watching a YouTube video. Thus, videos are a good way to communicate with the audience and achieve goals.

Market peculiarities

Saudi Arabia is the market with the largest programmatic advertising potential in the region. Essential ingredients to any successful ad campaign in the country are ad creatives in Arabic, a knowledge of censorship, and what online channels are the most effective at reaching Saudis.