Kalam.tv Champions Local User Content

16.Jan.11. OOX News

Early on in 2010, it was reported by both Gulf News and The National that there is a pressing need to produce more local content in the region. Indeed, the two publications made two compelling points; while Arabs comprise 5 per cent of the world’s population, less than 1 per cent of internet content is in Arabic; and despite increased development in Internet technology in the region—the same cannot be said for local content production.

Now however, new portals are being launched to counter this distressing trend. One of which is Kalam.tv.

Kalam.tv is a social network and video sharing portal launched by Al Aan Television. The website was conceptualized to encourage user content from the region. Mahdi Hashemi, Marketing Manager at Kalam.tv, shares impressive growth the site has seen in 2010; starting out with 130,000 unique visitors per month at the beginning of the year; they closed December with 1,000,000! Currently, the site averages 900,000 unique visitors on a monthly basis.

Made available in Arabic, and recently in its Farsi and Urdu versions as well—Kalam.tv shows its sensitivity to the needs and interests of its target users.

Asked what distinguished Kalam from other sites that enabled video sharing (which is apparently the portal’s main feature), Hashemi says, “we are a completely Arabic website with our own community base, the user can upload videos and be sure that this video is going to be seen only by other Arab users. Also the Kalam user knows that the feedback will be in Arabic and more importantly we moderate the comments, so when a user uploads a video, there would be no offensive comments or feedback.”

The issue on content is not about merely making things on the web available in the region’s dialect. It’s about forming an online community where users are encouraged to share their ideas and interests through online media such as video sharing and social networking.

Kalam.tv’s goal to empower local user-generated content through video also presents a distinct opportunity for advertisers to tap local audiences. Aside from expandable banners, wallpaper ads, and traditional rectangles, Kalam offers pre-roll and post-roll video ads. Hashemi shares that their unique ad management system for pre-roll and post-roll ads affords them geographical targeting, and allows them to see if the user has viewed the entire video impression.

Kalam.tv is already showing good traffic. By creating a site that empowers local user-generated content, the portal is bound to continue appealing to the Arab audience. Marrying the figures with the site’s essence, Kalam.tv is a promising bet for advertisers looking to charter their brand with local consumers.

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