YouTube, Unilever Launch Ramadan Channel

YouTube and Unilever have teamed up to launch a dedicated channel to Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, on the video-sharing giant’s site. The video hub will house more than 40 Arabic TV shows the same day they air during the month of Ramadan, at YouTube.com/Ramadan.

Unilever is the hub’s main sponsor, and more content will be added throughout the month. Partners are responsible for uploading and managing the content -- via the hub -- themselves. There is also a new advertising platform that will help them monetize their content. 

"Unilever, Google and YouTube have a strong global relationship based on bringing digital innovations to the public," said David Porter, Unilever's media director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). "We are delighted that two of the Arab world's most beloved Unilever food and beverage brands, Lipton and Knorr, will bring a great online viewing experience to millions of people during the holy month of Ramadan." 

In an interview with AMEinfo.com, Alfonso de Gaetano, Google's industry head for the Gulf region, explains the new advertising platform. "Our previous format was not super attractive in terms of value branding proposition,” he says, “but now with YouTube being there it becomes super attractive for partners who prefer video [advertising].”

He adds: "All content from all global premium partners is available in the region. Anyone from MENA can watch content from the U.S., UK, Europe and so on. But this (Ramadan initiative) is the biggest program we have that is specific to MENA. Now we're moving in this direction of adding partners and building content that is really attractive to local communities."

According to de Gaetano, MENA users generate 167 million video views on YouTube every day, which puts the region slightly behind the USA. Daily views have soared 112 percent since last October, he says. 

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