FOCUS: Internet ads top TV by budget, seen to keep reigning Jul–Dec
By Yekaterina Yezhova
MOSCOW, Sep 3 (PRIME) -- A steadfast growth of investment in online promotion pushed Russia’s Internet advertising market by 21% on the year to over 90 billion rubles in January–June, outperforming TV advertising for the first time. Internet behemoths Yandex and Mail.Ru Group are the main beneficiaries, analysts said, adding that while Yandex is well-rooted in advertising, Mail.Ru Group is more diversified.
“The Internet has for the first time topped the TV segment slightly by the volume of advertising. The event had been long expected as TV ads grew by 13% and Internet ads by 21%. At that, positions of these two media segments are rather close: each of them has slightly more than 41% of the advertising market,” said Sergei Veselov, co-chairman of the expert committee at the Russian Association of Communication Agencies (RACA).
The RACA calculated that the Internet ads market increased 21% on the year to 90.5–91.5 billion rubles in January–June, value-added tax excluded. The TV segment rose 13% to 90–91 billion rubles, and the total advertising market also gained 13% to 218–220 billion rubles.
IAB Russia calculated that the online advertising market spiked 23.5% to 92.5 billion rubles in the first half of the year.
Group of companies Finam analyst Leonid Delitsyn said, “Search or contextual advertisements are the most popular among advertisers, accounting for 43% of the market, and banner advertisements, including multi-media, account for 34%, special projects for 13%, and video for 10%.
“Search advertisements are available for hundreds of thousands of advertisers, firms of any scale, up to individual entrepreneurs. It can be easily launched, tested, and it is seen by an active user looking for something,” he told PRIME.
Yandex and Mail.Ru Group
“The winner-takes-it-all principle works in the Internet. The major floors are the market’s biggest players. These are search engines Yandex and Google, social networks VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Facebook, email service Mail.Ru, video service YouTube, and media holding Rambler. Instagram is a rising star,” Delitsyn said.
Proceeds from online advertisements generated 84% of Yandex’s total revenue in January–June. The company’s total online advertising revenue rose 17% to 47.322 billion rubles, while its total revenue grew 32% to 56.245 billion rubles.
Mail.Ru Group’s revenue depended on online advertisements by 41%. Its online advertising revenue jumped 38.9% to 13.860 billion rubles, and the company’s total revenue rose 29% to 33.577 billion rubles. “We expect that advertising and games revenues will continue to show good growth in July–December,” Mail.Ru Group’s management said earlier in a statement. The company owns popular social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki.
Analysts said that Yandex, which is heavily dependent on online advertising, is more vulnerable than more diversified Mail.Ru Group, whose revenue is almost equally divided between advertising, social networks, and multi-player games.
Delitsyn at Finam said, “We may point out at how actively Yandex had promoted its taxi project, partly to persuade investors that the company was capable of entering other markets. However, Yandex’s position on the advertising market is very solid, and only Google could pose a threat as the developer of operating system Android that actually shapes the market of advertisements on smartphones.”
Dependence on online advertisements will stay in the foreseeable future unless users agree to pay for the services they now get for free, like search, e-mail, and social networks, Delitsyn told PRIME.
“Growth rates of the Internet advertising market will persist, and we expect it to rise 20–22% on the year in July–December. The victory over TV would be most likely of a symbolic character, which would be enough for online advertising, which has been explaining its rise by advertisers’ money flowing from TV into the Web,” he said.
“But if TV has nothing left, there will be nothing to flow. In this case, Internet advertising will get volumes, but no growth, and advertisement purchasers would be choosier. The optimal situation is when online advertising bites 3–5% off the TV segment every year.”
(68.0447 rubles – U.S. $1)