It’s easy for tech news sites and entrepreneurs alike to focus on the USA and prominent Western European markets when there are significant opportunities if you look further afield.

Consider Russia, for example. It’s Europe’s biggest Internet market in terms of number of users and yet only 57 percent of the adult population has an Internet connection. That makes it a serious market for future growth, and a new report [PDF] from East-West Digital News details just how big the online video market in particular has become there.

  • With 60 million monthly viewers in July 2013 according to comScore, online video in Russia is huge but there’s still massive growth potential, with the audience expected to grow 18 percent per year on average over the next five years, and video views per viewer expect to increase 6 percent per year over the same period.
  • YouTube and other Google sites generate the most online video views, with 54 million users in June 2013, followed by homegrown companies Mail.ru, Gazprom Media, Yandex and Tvigle.ru. When you strip out user-generated content, Tvigle.ru comes out on top, while familiar names like Netflix and Amazon are yet to enter the Russian market.
  • Spending on online video ads grew 120% between 2011 and 2012, sitting at $52 million. That figure is expected to grow 60 percent per year over the next two years.
  • There are still challenges, though. Online video piracy was only addressed by the law in the summer of this year. Although it has had an immediate effect in reducing rampant consumption of illegal content, the legal outlets need to make sure that they capitalize on this and convert pirates into customers.

For the full lowdown on the online video sector in Russia, download the full report from East-West Digital News. The Next Web is a media partner for the report’s publication.

Online Video in Russia [PDF]

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