Al Aan TV: Serving Arab families, with a 'skew' towards a female audience

Plugging the gap in the TV market between pure news and pure entertainment channels, while serving Arab families and women, Al Aan TV's Head of Corp. Communications, Zoya Sakr, explains her station's strategy of infotaiment and its success.


Q1. Kindly give us a brief intro about yourself.After wining Elite contest in Lebanon, I represented Lebanon in the International Competition in Korea and was the first Arab model to participate in such a contest. In 1997, I was elected “Miss Beauty International” in Venezuela. Then, shifted to the media world specifically “ART TV”, where I presented a number of successful programs including “Ajnehat Al Watan” and “Tallo hbabna”. After that, I moved to “Future TV” where worked in the administrations and marketing as well as presenting programs that revolve around the mother like “My Family”. Currently, I’m working at “Al Aan TV” as Head of Corporate Communications, where my duties include everything related to the media marketing of the channel. Q2.What is the target market that Al Aan TV is serving?The target is the Arab family with a skew towards a female audience.How does it provide better content and reach than its competitors?As much as we are specific with our target, as much as we are able to specify our content, this strategy has led us to enhance the lives of our viewers across different aspects of living by presenting the programs that they need and enjoy.We believe there is a gap in the market between pure news channels and pure entertainment channels. We call it infotainment. That's our segment. We aim to make our content not only compelling to watch but also directly relevant with the daily life experience of our viewer. We believe that's what our audience needs and wants in the final analysis. Q3.Al Aan TV presents a variety of shows, aimed at women, which reflects the modern Arab women's diverse interest, compared with the traditional view that focused on family and household care. How has the response been from women to shows like cars, technology and so on?This is what is unique about Al Aan programs, since its approaching woman from a different perspective which has been admired by the viewers.And research has proven the interest of women in such programming, specially our Mobile Technology program Beinna Allo. Women, especially young ladies are so keen on technological details. Bluetooth could be a technological advancement for men. For ladies, it can be a tool to socialize or a way to express oneself. A good megapixel camera in your phone will guarantee great family pictures. That's what we keep hearing from our audience. Q4.Al Aan TV has a notable presence in events and is aggressive in PR; do you believe these are the key factors for the success of any media in the Middle East?Of course its one of the main strategies that we follow and it has proven success after one year.We believe in the power of communication. Both advertising and PR. It works. Q5.How has your marketing strategy helped Al Aan TV?Our Marketing Strategy is covering the major countries that we are targeting and its continuous and based on our activities, that’s why its successful

Q6.Al Aan already has an impressive and informative website. As Internet penetration increases in theMiddle East, and time spent online increases, will Al Aan consider streaming the channel online, or featuring downloadable shows? Do you think this resembles the future of TV?Since our website is a major tool for us to promote and provide information about Al Aan programs therefore streaming the channel on line would be a supplement to this website and will increase the number of our viewers which will support our strategy, for now we are re-shuffling the home page with new features, like news stories supported by Videos and many others. I do think that despite the new technology that keeps on coming out in the TV world, there will still be a need for our current TV transmission method.