Delivering news to the Middle East’s millenials using “creative storytelling”

We live in an era of declining traditional linear TV consumption. Millennials and Gen Z-ers rely on mobile devices, YouTube and TikTok for their entertainment and information. How do broadcasters and other news outlets go about engaging with them in a meaningful way without undermining or trivialising the medium, asks Kevin Hilton, writing in TVB Europe?

Dubai-based blinx Digital Media Hub, whose slogan is ‘By the Youth, for the Youth’, wants to be digitally native and develop “futuristic platforms and workflows” for its “creative storytelling” approach, which has attracted an audience of 700,000 in the first three months of operation.

“The main focus was about Gen Z because the media outlets targeting them [in the Middle East] are very limited and most of them are either foreign or not regional.

They also don’t want traditional media talking to them and trust the people [presenters and personalities] more than entities. Which is why we hired fresh graduates or people with very low profiles and started to grow them to be our storytellers.”

Fadi Radi, Chief Creative Officer, blinx

blinx provides a fast-moving and varied diet of news and current affairs delivered across a variety of platforms and fronted by up-and-comers on Vizrt virtual sets that aspire to Hollywood production values. They call the operation the Metaverse Studio and it’s full of XR, VR and AI enhancements courtesy of Viz Virtual Studio, Viz Engine and Viz Pilot Edge, though there’s a mix of NDI and SDI in the production pipeline to enable a balance of established technologies with the cutting edge.

The operation is led by Middle East news industry veterans Nakhle Elgage GM), the former director of news at Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), and chief creative officer Fadi Radi, who was previously with Al Alarabiya as well as MBC.