Saudi Arabia is the first country in the Middle East which has snagged itself a deal with Google to offer users a chance to keep up with the latest YouTube videos without having to log on to their computers or smart phones at all.
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has partnered with Google Saudi Arabia to bring Interactive Television, or Invision, to its customers, where users can get their daily YouTube fix using nothing more than their televisions.
According to STC chief executive Jameel bin Abdullah Al Molhem, users can search for and view YouTube videos, for free. And that isn’t all that STC has in store for its users. The deal will be followed by additional services including e-commerce and e-learning tools.
STC’s plans were unveiled at a press conference in the presence of Google executives, including Arimr Kesisoqlu, Google MENA director and Abdulrahman Tarabzouni. Google Saudi Arabia’s Country Manager.
According to Alexa, YouTube is the second most visited site in Saudi Arabia, after Google Saudi Arabia, so the service is bound to be met with enthusiasm. Kesisoqlu gave some interesting figures about YouTube use in the region as a whole, saying “More than 100 million Arabs log on to the YouTube network every day, and about 11 million users go online at an average of 136 minutes per day representing 40 per cent of the Kingdom’s population.”
In the wake of Saudi women taking to the streets and sharing their driving experiences on YouTube, it certainly is an interesting move on the part of Google Saudi Arabia to launch this service now.