Dubai International Film Festival
Dubai - Arabstoday
YouTube will be making history at this year's Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) with a free live-stream of the Red Carpet Opening on December 7th and the Closing Award
Ceremonies on December 14th.
This live-stream of DIFF's star-studded opening and closing galas will be the first entertainment event to be live-streamed out of the MENA region.
YouTube, which touts three billion views and more than 400 million mobile views daily, is the fastest growing online video platform bringing exclusive events like DIFF to a global audience. YouTube visitors will also have the opportunity to watch and participate via the site's social tools of commenting and sharing.
Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of Dubai International Film Festival, said, "We are thrilled to partner with Google to bring the Dubai International Film Festival to YouTube's global audience thanks to the power of video and the internet."
The opportunity to watch local filmmakers and stars mingle with some of Hollywood's best will be especially significant for an Arabic audience, as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morroco and the UAE lead MENA in terms of YouTube viewership, which has doubled regionally over the last year.
Adding live-streamed coverage of important events is another example of how YouTube acts as a truly global broadcast platform while still focusing on localization, with country-specific versions of YouTube being launched in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi, Tunisia and Yemen in 2011.
YouTube will be doing more live-stream events in MENA, especially related to entertainment and sports, and is working on media partnerships to create new interactive formats for TV to leverage key YouTube features such as moderator, which allows users to vote on favorite videos and rank them.
"There's so much more we want to do, such as partner with key content owners and have them create their own channels to maximize their reach while promoting and monetizing their content. There are definitely some exciting things in the works," according to Alfonso De Gaetano, Industry Head for Google in the Gulf region.