Damam – e-Media:
KSA attained the 33rd position for the year 2010 -2011 in the internet availability index issued by the International Economic Forum. It comes ahead of many developed countries like Italy and Spain according to Al-Youm Daily.
According to an IT report entitled “Internet systems in Saudi Arabia” there are 11.8 million users in KSA by the end of the first quarter of 2011. Broad band subscribers are 4.8 million at 123 % accumulative average annual growth during the last five years.
According to the report individual’s spending on IT reached SR 998 at 14 % growth as compared to last year. Spending on equipment increased by 66.7 %. The total spending amounted to 18 billion riyal, followed by IT services at 22.8 %, then off-the- shelf applications at 10.5 %.
The report indicated that 96 % of the users consider internet as an important source of information and entertainment. 90% believe internet is becoming an important part of their life. The report indicates e-mail as the most prominent type of use at nearly 75%, followed by browsing certain websites and social communication, news reading, games, calls, exchange of videos and songs, then banking transactions, education, searching for a job, purchasing and selling through the internet. Clothes and commodities come at 38 %, followed by travel reservations at 23 %.
The report revealed high level of browsing in Saudi Arabia of static contents and social communication networks as compared to multi-media and interactive content. Use of banking and educational services, searching for job and e-business is expected to increase. Browsing includes religion, health, medicine and travel at varying percentages. Many seniors and users in rural areas prefer browsing of religious and health contents. Male users search for sports content at 89 % and vehicles at 21 %. Ladies tend to browse fashion and cosmetic sites at 46 % and gastronomy at 48%.
Facebook users in KSA are 3.2 million; two thirds are between 15 to 29 years old. It is expected to grow. About 60 %of the internet users in KSA read the news through internet. The same applies to job search. The study finds the number of individuals who practiced e-business is as low as 6 %.