Media producers often think of engagement as a multidimensional variable that comprises time spent with content; interaction with that content, be it clicking on links or watching a related video; and use of social media such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in order to share or comment. As we examine what we might call “engagement potential,” as we did with this study, we investigate respondents’ interest in spending time with new technologies, an approach that has been utilized by the Associated Press and others. What we have learned through our survey work, which is examined deeply in this chapter, is that audiences in Qatar and the UAE offer interesting insights on mobile technology potential.

First, our research confirms the significant role of subject matter salience. Audiences are not just interested in the bells and whistles of new technologies. They care about the content. Second, mobile video content has the most universal appeal in the region. Media producers should utilize mobile video as an opportunity to cultivate potential audiences for more advanced mobile technologies, including 3D photo and 360-degree video.