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Exploring CTV (Connected TV) Advertising in Russia: Captivate the Connected Audience



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Russia's internet penetration in 2024 remains high. On average, 80% of the population uses one or another device to access the World Wide Web, including for watching streaming TV and reading the online press.


Advertising on Connected TV (CTV) in Russia: Unleashing the Potential


Traditional television is losing its popularity, giving way to the Internet and social networks. By the end of 2023, the pay-TV market in Russia amounted to 106 billion rubles, the same as in 2022. The number of subscribers decreased by 0.1%, while the growth of CTV is about 35-40% annually. Connected TV (CTV) and OTT services are taking over, offering more interesting and flexible options compared to cable TV. They account for 79.7% of total media consumption in Russia.

Types of TV: CTV, OTT and Analog TV

Analog TV is the gold standard of television, offering a diverse range of programs on specific channels. To watch analog TV, you must use an antenna or pay for a cable or satellite TV connection. This type of TV doesn't require an Internet connection and works using traditional signal broadcasting technology.

Digital TV (OTT) and Connected TV (CTV) are two of the most popular ways of watching television and video. They are often confused with each other, but there is a clear distinction between them. Let's cut to the chase and understand the difference between Connected TV (CTV), digital TV (OTT), and analog TV. 

OTT (Over-the-Top) is a premium TV and video content streaming service, usually real-time or on-demand, offered by Internet service providers. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video are just a few examples of popular OTT services. In Russia, the most popular services are Kinopoisk, Ivi, Okko, YouTube TV, and MoreTV. They operate via the Internet, so you don't need traditional cable or satellite connections. We previously discussed their advertising capabilities and the specifics of their work (link). 

Connected TVs (CTVs) are TVs or devices that are connected to the Internet and allow users to watch streaming video through applications and services. These are smart TVs and TV set-top boxes (STB) that connect the TV to the Internet and allow access to streaming platforms such as Apple TV, Xiaomi, and Roku. Game consoles (Xbox, PlayStation) also stream games to large screens. 

These devices can be used to broadcast OTT content, but CTV and OTT are not the same thing. CTV is the platform through which various OTT services can be accessed.

What CTV is available for Russians?

Smart TVs accounted for over 85% of all TV sales last year. In the M.Video-Eldorado network, it has already exceeded 90%. Game console sales in 2023 also showed impressive growth, with each marketplace and specialized store selling more than 1 million devices. Currently, 24% of the population uses the TV to access the Internet, while 4.7% uses game consoles.


Advertising on Connected TV (CTV) in Russia: Unleashing the Potential


Russia has a wide range of connected TV platforms for consumers to choose from. 

For instance, TV sets with a Smart TV function from Rostelecom and Samsung are extremely popular. These devices allow you to watch traditional TV channels and use various streaming services. The Yandex TV Station is especially worth highlighting. This smart TV from Yandex is the ultimate multimedia station, offering a wide range of interesting movies and programs. For example, you can search for movies by voice and turn them on without a remote. This TV also controls your smart home via the Alice voice assistant.


Advertising on Connected TV (CTV) in Russia: Unleashing the Potential


Furthermore, there is a clear trend towards an increase in the number of users with smart devices. Russia has approximately 5.5 million active smart home devices, and this number is expected to grow. This creates a favorable audience for the connected TV (CTV) market. 


Advertising on Connected TV (CTV) in Russia: Unleashing the Potential


Sony, Xbox, Steam Deck, and Nintendo consoles are the most popular game consoles in Russia. Despite the limitations of some devices in payment, users have effective workarounds for purchasing devices.

Switching to Streaming: How Young People and Families are Changing TV Habits in Russia

At the beginning of 2024, 92% of Internet users in Russia watched TV every month, down 3.7% year-on-year. They spent 3 hours and 8 minutes watching TV every day, which is 1.9% more than a year ago. Of those, 82.7% watched streaming content, which took 1 hour and 2 minutes per day, up 7.6% from last year. Streaming accounted for a clear majority of total TV viewing time, at 33.1%.


Advertising on Connected TV (CTV) in Russia: Unleashing the Potential


CTV's audience is made up primarily of young adults aged 18-34 who actively use streaming services, as well as older age groups transitioning from traditional TV to CTV. Connected TV viewers also include families with children, urbanites, and professionals.

Users have the power to choose what and when they watch, whether that's by buying a subscription or watching content for free with ads. They binge-watch series and movies and actively use video streaming applications.

Advertising on Connected TV (CTV) in Russia: Unleashing the Potential

The data on TV and streaming content consumption in Russia confirms the trend that more and more users are favoring streaming, especially the younger generation and active Internet users. This reflects the clear shift from traditional television to more flexible and convenient ways of consuming video content via CTV. This has undoubtedly had an impact on advertising media buying. 

Advertising on CTV: 9 advantages over traditional TV advertising

Connected TV advertising is broadcast on internet-connected devices that can play video content. It offers distinct advantages over traditional TV advertising. 

With the tools available on CTV, you can target your audience precisely, engage them more deeply, and run highly interactive ad campaigns. These are just some of the advantages, but there are many more.

Let's take a closer look at the main ones and create a comparison table with the rest. 

Paid ads

Advertisers can use precise targeting based on viewability data and user preferences, and create personalized ad campaigns that will increase their effectiveness and reduce costs. Analytics and tracking technologies will help you identify target audiences and create relevant content.

Greater audience engagement

CTV audiences are far more engaged than traditional television audiences. Users choose what and when to watch, so they are more likely to be interested in content and advertising messages.

Millennials and Generation Z value comfort, quality, and unique content, and they still choose entertainment platforms. That's why streaming services are in high demand. This group of people is the largest audience in the world, so it is a certainty that they will not return to traditional cable TV.

Opportunities for interactive advertising

CTV's interactive advertising solutions drive engagement and conversions. Users can interact with ads in multiple ways, including clicking for more information, participating in surveys, or navigating to the advertiser's website. These interactions increase engagement and lead to higher conversions.



CTV advertising

Traditional TV advertising

Results Tracking

Easy to track results with analytics and real-time data

Difficult to track results

Entry barrier

Low entry barrier, affordable for small and medium-sized businesses

A high entry barrier, requires significant investment and negotiations with TV sales houses. Often airtime is bought in advance for many months by other advertisers. 

Advertising budget

Flexible budget, can be customized to fit any financial capacity

Larger advertising budget commitment


Growing audience, especially among young people and active Internet users

Decrease in audience, especially among young people


Ability to accurately target demographic, geographic, and behavioral data

Limited opportunities for targeting


High interactivity, possibility of interaction with advertising

Limited interactivity


Takes into account the use of multiple devices at the same time

Does not account for the use of multiple devices

Flexibility and adaptation

Easily adaptable and changeable in real time

Difficult and time-consuming to make changes to the campaign

Data privacy

Attention to data privacy

Less attention to data privacy


CTV advertising offers advertisers and marketers more flexible, interactive, and precise tools than traditional television advertising. This makes it more cost-effective and efficient in today's market.

Let’s talk about CTV advertising formats.

CTV advertising formats in Russia

CTV can integrate commercials and banners, including interactive formats, as we have already mentioned.Video ads on CTV are pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. Advertisers can reach their target audience at different moments of viewing with the help of commercials, ensuring maximum visibility for their advertisements.

Interactive ad formats are designed as clickable banners, surveys, and buttons to go directly to the advertiser's website. This is how you increase engagement and achieve closer interaction with the brand.


Example of interactive advertising (OTT service)


In addition to traditional advertising methods, you should also use sponsored inserts and content branding. This means the brand will be integrated into the main content. For instance, you can mention the sponsor before shows, console games, on-screen logos, or themed episodes created in collaboration with the brand. These formats are an effective way to increase brand awareness and create a positive association with viewers.


Advertising on Connected TV (CTV) in Russia: Unleashing the Potential
Example of a banner with a reward on the game streaming platform Player Won


Streaming services are experimenting with a wide variety of monetization models, and many use a hybrid model, which is a combination of two or more models. Hulu offers a basic ad-supported plan, an ad-free plan, and a package including Disney +, ESPN+, and Live TV. 

If you want to run ads on CTV in Russia, you can use the following services. 


Video ad network









CTV disadvantages

While CTV offers numerous advantages over pay TV and mobile advertising, there are still a few minor disadvantages to ad integrations. 

One such disadvantage is the issue of privacy and data security. Regulatory authorities in the Russian Federation are strengthening controls on the collection and processing of users' personal data. This requires advertisers to adhere to strict norms and standards.

Ad blocking is also becoming a stumbling block as users look for ways to avoid ads. The solution is native ad formats, the use of influencers and celebrities in advertising, and the creation of creative content that users won't want to miss.


 Promotional video about the benefits of the OnePlus 8 Pro with Robert Downey Jr.


Furthermore, advertising on CTV competes with social media and mobile advertising. Brands must develop unique campaigns to stand out and effectively capture audience attention.

Russian experience of CTV promotion

MobUpps CEO Yaron Tomchin revealed how the project team used the Smart TV channel to attract new users for clients and the impressive results the experts achieved at Digital Brand Day 2024.

‘CTV is the way to go for performance channels. This is a new, growing audience. More and more households are connecting to streaming services while disconnecting from cable TV. The big screen offers better visibility and measurability, as well as better transparency and user experience. Our case study demonstrated that streaming device users are more likely to convert to sales. The low threshold of entry makes this channel accessible to many companies.

Let me give you an example from our practice: a cryptocurrency exchange which we have been working for several years with. The client came to us with three clear goals: to attract new users, increase sales, and find new channels for promotion. Our team selected the most relevant channels and streaming devices, set up MMP for accurate analytics and optimization, and got to work. The results were far better than we expected. ROI increased by 45% over mobile campaigns, new audience reach increased fivefold, and sales grew by 76% in five months. As a result, the client's CTV budget increased by 75%.’

CTV is the ideal solution for advertisers looking to reach their target audience with innovative and effective solutions. The right use of data, interactive features, and analytics will unlock the full potential of this advertising channel.

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Do you have questions about TV placement in Russia and CIS? Contact us by filling out the form in the Contacts section. An RMAA manager will contact you within 24 hours. 

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About the Author

Digital Strategist. Head of one of the project groups at RMAA. Maria started her journey in digital marketing in 2009. 

Author Maria Romanenko

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