During January 2010, SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, only had 643 viewings of their YouTube channels ARABIC and SAT-7 KIDS. During December 2013, the number of views was an astronomical 636,558 – an increase of over 100,000%. September 2012 saw the highest monthly YouTube figure to date with almost 892,000 views. SAT-7 is no longer simply a satellite TV organization; it’s a multimedia broadcaster with a global reach on social media, reports MNN.
Social media is also an increasingly important method of communication with SAT-7 viewers. Last month 15,800 new viewers ‘liked’ the SAT-7 KIDS Facebook page, taking its total number of ‘likes’ to 73,000. SAT-7 takes Internet safety very seriously and educates viewers about how to stay safe online.
Although internet usage is growing rapidly, broadband penetration in the region remains low. Just 16-17% of households in the Middle East have a broadband connection. This makes the rapid increase of SAT-7 online viewers even more remarkable.
Many countries that are closed to every other form of Gospel outreach are seeing the biggest increase in Internet use. Iran, for example, had just 250,000 internet users in 2000, but by June 2012, that number had increased to 42 million.
The Middle East is also seeing massive growth in smart phones and other web-enabled mobile devices like iPads. According to a report by GSMA Intelligence, in Turkey, mobile broadband accounts for 59% of total mobile connections. It accounts for 55% of total mobile connections in the United Arab Emirates, 54% in Saudi Arabia, and just 50% in Western Europe.
In the last few months, SAT-7 has launched apps for both Apple iOS and Android devices so that Middle Eastern viewers (and anyone in the world) can watch SAT-7 programs while on the move. Because of this, the audience potential continues to increase. To read more about these innovations and learn how to download these apps to your phone or device, visit this page.
Please pray that the programs will continue to be an encouragement and blessing to believers and a challenge to all viewers.
Pray that the messages, videos and photos SAT-7 posts on Facebook will help children to come to a deep understanding of God’s love for them.
Pray that Arabic, Turkish, and Farsi speakers will be blessed as they watch our broadcasts on their phones or tablets wherever they live in the world.