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Russian online cinemas as an effective platform for advertisers



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Online theaters have become more popular than traditional offline cinemas over the past few years. They have captured a significant share of the audience, largely facilitated by the pandemic period. Even after it, online cinemas have not lost their leading position among Russian viewers. 

Users enjoy the experience of movie services. They also save money by not going to the movies so often as it isn't always convenient for modern people. Also, a single ticket or subscription is often more expensive than a month of access to content on various streaming platforms. Many users only go to traditional theaters to see popular box-office movies such as John Wick or The Joker. At the same time, streaming services rake in billions of rubles by providing their audiences with access to quality series and movies. 

This has affected marketing. In this article, we will discuss the leading players in the online movie industry in Russia and what advertising opportunities they offer.

Let's start by defining the differences between TV and online movie theaters. 

Line TV is the traditional system in which the viewer watches a scheduled TV program when it airs and on the original channel. The program can be recorded on a DVR and watched later. Line TV is still the largest market, but its reach is fragmented due to the increasingly competitive TV market.

Connected TV (CTV) is a device that connects to or is embedded in a television set to support video content streaming. There are many different types of CTV, including Xbox, PlayStation, Apple TV, and others.

Online movie theaters, also known as over-the-top (OTT), are the delivery of TV/video content directly from the Internet. You don't need to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite provider to access this content. You can watch it on a variety of devices, including tablets, phones, laptops, and TVs. The video is provided in a streaming or video-on-demand (VOD) format. This model often works on a paid subscription format. The user buys a subscription for a certain period (a month, a year, etc.) and can watch all content on the service.

Online movie market leaders in Russia

Kinopoisk and Ivi are the leading players in this market, with millions of users attracted to their content. They control almost 60% of the online movie theater market in Russia. "Kinopoisk" is visited by 9.1 million users, 76% of whom are paying subscribers. Ivi boasts 7.2 million subscribers, with 54% of them paying for the service. "Okko" has 5 million subscribers, 66% of whom are paying customers. In total, there are 36.7 million online movie theater subscribers in Russia.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas

Russian online movie theaters lost up to half of Hollywood content after Western studios left due to international sanctions. In particular, Kinopoisk lost half of the movies and series from the major studios, Disney and Warner Bros. It forced domestic platforms to create their own movies and series. The cost of content production in the first quarter of 2023 reached 54 billion rubles, up 29% compared to the same period in 2022.


Blogger Vera Bolt in the series "King and Shout", directed and produced with the  Kinopoisk support

Online cinemas also filled the niche at the expense of Turkish and Asian films. This trend has become particularly popular among Russian viewers, as evidenced by the significant number of Turkish TV series and Korean doramas on the platforms.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas
TOP doramas on Ivi

Russian online movie theaters adapted and found new opportunities for growth despite the difficulties. This opens up new prospects for advertisers. For instance, the ongoing production of their own films and TV series allows brands to integrate into these projects through product placement or leverage other advertising formats that are less expensive but just as effective.

Advertiser opportunities in online movie theaters

Online movie theaters are becoming more popular, and, as a result, their advertising revenues are rising. In the first quarter of 2023, online movie theaters' advertising revenue grew by 19%. With an effective content strategy and a large amount of exclusive content, platforms offer advertisers the opportunity to associate their brands with popular and high-quality videos. 

Let's dive into the advertising opportunities on two popular platforms: Kinopoisk and Ivi.

Paid advertising on

Kinopoisk, a part of the Yandex advertising network, is the go-to platform for licensed content and cutting-edge technological solutions. The platform offers a wide range of licensed content, including movies, series, TV channels, sports games, quizzes, movie tickets, cinema news, and actor biographies. 

The main directions in the strategy of its development are:

  1. Utilizing the capabilities of the Yandex ecosystem to improve user experience, including the Alice voice assistant and integration with other services.

  2. Creating and promoting its own original content that attracts and retains audiences.

  3. Using advanced algorithms for personalized recommendations that increase viewer engagement.

According to data, the platform's largest audience is made up of 60.36% men and 39.64% women aged 25-34. Ratings and reviews make it easy for users to navigate the world of movies and choose only the best works of cinema.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas

Kinopoisk offers a range of ad formats that can be tailored to suit different purposes and audiences.

Multi Rolls and Prerolls

A pre-roll is a short 15-second commercial that is shown before the start of the movie. This format allows you to brand the entire screen and attract the viewer's attention from the first seconds. 

A multi-roll is a series of short 15-30 second commercials, usually included in the middle of the movie and additionally before or after the video content is shown. Integrating a multi-roll allows a brand to promote several products or services in a row. 

When setting up an advertising campaign with multi-roll or pre-roll, you can target specific audiences by location and age. The user can also stop the commercial from the fifth second of playback.

Here's an example of a pre-roll with an interactive call to action (go to the site) before showing the trailer of the Fox of Fire movie.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas

Branding pages and movie cards

Branding pages' promotional feature is represented by traditional media banners. They can be static or dynamic. 

Banners are placed on the side or in the middle of the page.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas

Furthermore, the media banner can be placed on top of the movie card which is the best place to broadcast the advertisement as it's immediately visible due to the space and size.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas

It's important to note that viewers of Kinopoisk without a subscription can only watch movie or series trailers, read media, and view actor cards. This is in contrast to viewers of the Ivi online cinema, who have access to more content. All users, regardless of subscription status, will see advertising when viewing video content. Branding pages are visible to all viewers, including those with a subscription.

Paid advertising on

With a 31% share of the advertising market, Ivi holds a leading position among online movie theaters.  On Ivi, as with Kinopoisk, users have access to all kinds of content, from TV series to live broadcasts of sporting events.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas

The majority of Ivi users are families with children and married people. The audience is equally split between men and women. The 25-to-44 age group accounts for 53% of users, confirming the platform's popularity among middle-aged viewers.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas

The platform offers free content, but it's only available if you watch video ads. Ivi is the leader of the AVOD market in Russia.

The main directions in its development strategy are:

  • Emphasis on original projects and exclusive licensing for Turkish TV series, Korean doramas, and domestic TV series.
  • Regular replenishment of in-demand international content available to Russian viewers.
  • Development of Ivi Originals. As part of this project, Ivi makes its own movies and offers an interesting advertising format - product placement (native advertising). Next, we will examine a popular type of it. 

Ivi offers the following advertising formats


These are commercials lasting from 5 to 60 seconds. There are three types of instream commercials:

  1. Pre-roll is a video ad that is shown before the beginning of a movie or TV show. If its duration does not exceed 15-20 seconds, it cannot be skipped. Longer commercials can be skipped.

  2. Mid-roll - a video ad that interrupts a movie. 

  3. Post-roll - a video ad that appears after the main movie.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas
An example of the pre-roll video advertising format of on

Interactive formats

These are videos with interactivity. Microsites or QR codes can be integrated as interactives to provide additional information about the product or service when viewers interact with them. A call to action is undoubtedly the most popular interactive overlay. When you watch this clip, you can click the "Checkout" button to go to the advertiser's site.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas
Example of an interactive advertising format with a "checkout" button on

Situation-roll as a type of product placement

It is situational advertising inserts in selected movies and TV series. The commercial will be shown after the specific words of the hero of the movie or TV series. This makes the advertisement more organic and natural for the viewers.

Situation-roll of Cherkizovo brand appears after the heroine's words about the sandwich

Film collection branding and pages

Movie collection branding is an editorial selection through a central promo block and brand integration in the promo and backing of the collection.

A banner can be added above the movie collection on the website. When viewing any content from this collection, a promo from that advertiser will be shown.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas
Dove brand media banner on the series editorial page

Advertising opportunities of

Okko holds 16.2% of the paid user segment and occupies 13.8% of the entire online movie theater market. The service offers a comprehensive selection of movies, TV series, cartoons, and sports broadcasts to its users. Also, the platform features lectures from renowned individuals, and scientists from various fields of science, and show business stars. Additionally, users can access a diverse range of online concerts, reality shows, and educational content.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas video courses

The online cinema offers both a subscription service and the option to watch a selection of domestic and foreign movies for free, subject to viewing advertisements. Some movies can be purchased or rented for 48 hours.

Okko offers high-quality content that rivals that of conventional cinemas, while also utilizing advanced technology. Movies can be watched in 4K and 8K resolution with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus audio. The platform attracts 7 million users each month. The majority of the audience is individuals between the ages of 25 and 44. Audience demographics by age is 56.97% male and 43% female.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas

The primary objectives of's strategic development plan are as follows:

  1. The expansion of the content base.  Okko is actively investing in the production of original projects and exclusive licensing of popular TV series and movies. It collaborates with production centers such as Sreda and Originals Production. In 2023, the platform produced 17 original series and a total of 33 projects, which also include feature films and documentaries. 

  2. The expansion of partner programs. Okko develops partnership programs with various companies to promote content and increase audience engagement. Furthermore, the platform is committed to promoting science and education. In 2022, it signed an agreement with the Higher School of Economics (HSE) to produce educational content under the LessOn project

The promotion is also noteworthy. Online movie theater advertisements can be seen not only on TV and in social networks, but also in the offline environment with a stereo-vario effect. Additionally, Okko collaborated with SberMarketing and leveraged an OEM source (specifically AppGallery) to attract over 55,000 new users. To achieve these results, a variety of advertising formats were employed, including display native, recommended app, and search AppGallery. An auto-match function was also applied to enhance the effectiveness of search campaigns. offers advertisers a range of partnership programs and the integration of traditional promotions.

Okko actively engages with brands. In 2023, Okko and Coffeemania collaborated on a joint project. To win one of three lifetime subscriptions to Okko's online cinema, customers must order a Caffemania dessert and find a layer of blue chocolate inside.

Another example is a partnership with the Humanist brand. In collaboration, they launched a shirt inspired by the exclusive TV series Kalimba. The item is available for purchase on the fashion brand's website.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas

Furthermore, the online movie theater engaged in cross-promotional activities with the M-Video company. A 60% discount on an Okko subscription was offered to customers who purchased any product from M-Video. 

Such a strategy is designed to enhance the brand image and attract a diverse audience. Furthermore, it enhances customer loyalty. 

Video advertisements can be run on Advertising inserts are displayed at the beginning, middle, and end of the main video content. Promotions are most often seen when watching TV channels.

Advertising opportunities of is owned by Tvigle Media, a leading producer and distributor of entertainment content. According to traffic analytics, the online movie theater is visited by approximately 161,000 users over a three-month period. The platform offers a diverse range of content, including movies, TV series, cartoons, and music videos, which can be accessed free of charge in exchange for viewing commercials. Additionally, the platform features user-generated content, including videos created by everyday individuals.

The Tvigle audience is 59.4% male and 40.6% female. The platform's primary audience is comprised of individuals aged 45 to 54.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas

The company's main strategic objectives are as follows:

  1. Continued expansion of the content library. The platform is consistently expanding its library with new movies, TV series, and cartoons.

  2. Integration with Yandex ecosystems. is a member of the Yandex Advertising Network.

The advertising opportunities for online movie theaters can be divided into two main categories. The first option is in-stream and page branding, which is similar to other comparable services. The second avenue for advertising is the launch of media advertising via Yandex.Direct as Tvigle is part of the Yandex advertising network.

Opportunities for advertisers in Russian online cinemas
Pre Roll and media banners on the movie's page on

Let's summarize the main points

Online cinemas employ cutting-edge technologies to enhance the user experience and present engaging advertising formats, including integration into content and additional features. 

Ivi is actively developing its own production of movies and TV series, offering advertisers the opportunity to utilize product placement as an advertising format. As previously mentioned, Ivi offers a situation roll, which is a situational playset. In addition to this, there is the option to access the movie content itself. This format allows advertisers to integrate their products or brands directly into the plot of movies or series, making the ad more native and less intrusive to viewers. 

To illustrate, the image below depicts the heroine of the Plague series, designed by Ivi, sitting beside a jar of pickles from the Uncle Vanya brand.

Kinopoisk is also not lagging behind and is creating its own projects. In 2018, the Yandex Taxi media lab and Kinopoisk launched a script contest for short films about the near future. In 2019, Yandex announced the production of a TV series. In 2020, the first premieres of films and series created specifically for the online cinema took place on Kinopoisk. In 2023, the online cinema announced new interesting projects

However, Yandex has not yet officially announced the possibility of product placement advertising in Kinopoisk projects. At the time of writing this article, Yandex offers advertisers the opportunity to place ads on all Yandex fan tech services and to show coverage ads in the video network, not only in the entire Yandex ecosystem but also in the external network. 

Also, Okko is continuing to develop its projects and is currently seeking brand partners for a partnership program. In 2024, the online cinema in partnership with the Agency of Creative Industries (ACI) announced the launch of a Cinema Showroom project. This project aims to unite Russian fashion brands with representatives of the film industry. The objective of the project is to create images for the characters of future original series to be broadcast on the Okko platform using collections of Russian designers. Four series from Okko are participating in the first stream of the contest, with other movie projects scheduled for future release on the platform.

Online cinemas demonstrate significant potential in creating quality content and providing effective advertising opportunities with video and paid social formats. This makes you consider these platforms along with TV and radio. 

For further information on the opportunities and ecosystem of media buying in Russia, please refer to our industry report. Additionally, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog, where we provide our clients with weekly updates on the latest marketing news from Russia and the CIS.

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About the Author

A content lead. Natalia runs marketing projects promotion with different digital tools in the Russian-speaking market. 


Author Natalia Gorenkova

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