The future of media in the MENA at forefront of SRMG pavilion at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity
Saudi Research and Media Group (SRMG) kicked off a series of interactive panel discussions and conversations on Monday at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
The panels explored leading issues in the industry such as digital wellness, sustainability in fashion, the future of podcasts, innovation trends and opportunities in the evolving media landscape.
The SRMG panels hosted special guests, including advertising legend Sir Martin Sorrell, co-founder of S4S Ventures, Nadja Bellan-White, global CMO of VICE Media Group, Claudius Boller, Spotify’s MEA managing director, and many more.
The first day of the event included panels on sustainable fashion and the future of podcasting in the Middle East.
In the “Local Voices, Global Thoughts: Podcasting in the Middle East” panel, moderated Arab News’ Media Editor Tarek Ali Ahmad, homegrown talents gave their thoughts on a nascent industry that is bursting with potential, alongside Spotify’s Boller.
Abdulrahman Abumalih, CEO of Thmanyah, said that the regional podcast industry differs from visual and written mediums as it relies on local content directed to a local audience.
The panel also heard from Leila Hamadeh, the CEO and co-founder of UAE-based Finyal Media, who told the audience that the podcast industry in the Middle East is still at an early stage in terms of production volume, pointing to the opportunities offered by different types of podcasts, adding that there is a need to expand on them.
The preceding panel, “Sustainable Fashion looks good on you,” explored best practices to ensure sustainability in the fashion industry.
Lama Al-Shethry, editor-in-chief of Sayidaty and Al-Jamila magazines, said that sustainability in fashion is being delivered through environmentally friendly production cycles, fair labor, recycling and upcycling used clothing, as well as the trend towards digital fashion.
Al-Shethry drew attention to the importance of raising awareness about sustainability in the industry, especially among the new generation, and argued against the explosion of fast fashion in recent decades. Al-Shathri added that many consumers do not realize that producing a single cotton shirt uses 2,700 liters of water.
“High fashion companies are on the right track by offering second-hand fashion, while fast fashion companies are pushing low-quality, low-cost products, but their environmental costs are high,” she said.
CEO of SRMG Jomana Rashed Al-Rashid said the group is shaping the conversation around the evolving media landscape, investing in new innovative products, technologies and solutions for the full line-up of its 30-plus brands and digital platforms providing the latest in lifestyle, sports, financial, and political news and analysis.
“SRMG is very proud to host industry thought leaders, game changers, and content creators at The SRMG Experience,” Al-Rashid said. “Our program of events will drive real conversations around the most impactful issues and key opportunities to enhance positive development in the industry at large.”
SRMG, one of the largest media and publishing groups in the Middle East, owns more than 30 major media outlets in the region, including Arab News, Asharq Al-Awsat, Asharq News and Sayyidaty.