TV Connect MENA keynote Farah Ben Temessek tells IP&TV News about Al Aan, a unique broadcaster in the MENA region
IP&TV News: For those unfamiliar with Al Aan, what’s unique about its place in Pan Arab broadcasting?
Farah Ben Temessek: Our raison d’être is in providing “real news and real entertainment for real people”. It’s what we do 24/7, 365 days a year because, just like our viewers, we live in the here and now.
The way we see the market, there are successful brands serving what we refer to as “Big News” and “Big Entertainment” segments. Al Aan sits in the middle, catering to a generic audience whose information and entertainment needs shift on a daily basis and who want to make the best of the moment.
We are supported by four key pillars which define our key brand attributes and guide our corporate vision: originality, interactivity, responsible broadcasting and female empowerment.
So female empowerment is a guiding value? In what sense exactly?
Al Aan’s commitment to female empowerment stems from its unshakeable belief that pan-Arab advancement is highly contingent upon sustainable economic growth and that, in turn, is inextricably linked to mobilization of the untapped energy and potential of the Arab women.
We also believe that serving female empowerment does not benefit women alone. Men have an equal responsibility in realizing a vision for a better world through supporting the socio-economic role of women.
We believe the female viewpoint is intrinsically valuable and also underrepresented in the media. To us, that is a clear opportunity to differentiate our offering while at the same time doing good. What can be better?
Tell us more about your primary demographic? Is it female?
The MENA population is extremely young and vibrant. Our viewers are between the ages of 22-40 years-old and our target audience is the Arab family. So our primary audience is young Saudi viewers – as is the case for most Pan Arab media given the demographics and advertising models of our region.
However, being headquartered in Dubai means we are ideally placed to present our Saudi viewers with specially designed, original content that resonates with their lifestyle aspirations. Saudi audiences, including Saudi women, empathise with the UAE and its social values. Al Aan is a readily identifiable symbol of that.
And when you say ‘originality’ – does that relate to a focus on original content?
Certainly. Al Aan produces innovative programming developed in the MENA region for the MENA region. Its young, highly skilled and talented team generates original, homegrown, relevant and empathetic content that continually engages, motivates and inspires its pan-Arab audience.
What’s the driving reason to attend TV Connect MENA (2-3 November 2015 Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai) for a broadcaster?
The exchange of knowledge and experience. And it’s a great chance to meet with the whole industry and share ideas. We love telling our story and we love hearing those of others.