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A Complete Russian YouTube Overview for Marketers. Key Market Insights



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YouTube, a popular video-sharing platform and social media website for uploading, sharing, viewing, and commenting on videos, continues to gain popularity in Russia. By the end of 2022 the service’s audience in the country numbered 50,5 million users a day. This fact obviously makes YouTube a very attractive advertising channel for companies interested in selling their products and services on the Russian market. 

In this material, we’ll consider the specifics of Russian YouTube audience, impact of Google’s advertising restrictions on this segment, and figure out the efficient ways to promote products on the platform under these circumstances.

Why YouTube Stays One Of the Most Demanded Promotion Tool in Russia

Russians spend up to 38H 51M on mounth. They watch YouTube videos passing the time on their way to work, at dinner or by doing household chores. But with equal willingness Russian users find time in their busy schedules to enjoy their favorite shows on the service. 

Marketers can potentially reach  91.5 million users aged 18+. with ads on YouTube in Russia.

A Complete Russian YouTube Overview for Marketers

Such a large, deeply involved audience segment is surely a “tibdit” for the business. And since YouTube becomes more and more popular every year advertisers are making big bets on this channel even despite the ban for direct advertising for Russian companies on the platform. 

Russian YouTube Today: Facts and Figures

In order not to be unfounded, we would like to present some statistical data which clearly illustrates that YouTube is really widespread in Russia:

1. The service ranked 1st among top online resources in the country along with VKontakte social platform VK, Telegram, TikTok, and Odnoklassniki. 

A Complete Russian YouTube Overview for Marketers

2. 42.9% of the Russian population opens YouTube everyday.

3. Russian users usually view the following content themes on YouTube: Music (19%), Entertainment (18%), Kids content (12%), Videogames (11%), series (9%).

Russian YouTube Users – Who Are They?

Most Russian YouTube users are aged 25-34 years and this segment accounts for 20.7% of all audience. The second place are 35-44 year-old-people (16.7%), followed by users between the ages of 18 and 24 (15%).

Women prevail among Russian YouTube audience, making up 52.8% whereas men account for 47.4%.

Since 91.3% of Russians use the Internet on their mobile devices, it is logical to assume that the majority of users watch YouTube videos in the mobile apps. 

An interesting trend:  What is also important to note, despite the younger audience in the country prefer YouTube instead of TV, older Russians still spend much time watching content on TV. To cover more segments TV-companies launch their own channels on YouTube for streaming their shows. This is one of the reasons why the platform is so widespread and popular among people of different ages. 

What Do Russian Users Watch on YouTube

In the face of audience aging, the share of views of children and entertainment video has increased, while main consumers of bloggers’ video are still viewers under 18 years old, which share reaches 40%, according to the study by Yoola media network. As for kids, more often it is their mothers who turn them on, or women aged 24-44.

While the audience gets older, its preferences change, too. In the category aged 18-24, bloggers are still in favor, but there are also gaming and entertainment coming. These genres are also popular among YouTube users aged 25-44. Apart from that, there is a category of themed videos. Men start getting interested in business, cars, and gadgets, while women, on the contrary, watch videos about fashion, beauty, health, motherhood, sports, shopping, and lifestyle. However, in the age of 35 women start losing interest to themed content, while male context remains relevant for its audience. 

At the age of 44 years and more, audience preferences shift to entertainment and hobby videos. Most popular ones become life hacks, DIY. People watch video about travelling, cooking, gardening, knitting, and other activities. Yoola notes that such themes are most often presented by small thematic channels. Unlike other content categories, in the DIY category bloggers as channel authors are of lesser importance: presenters can change, an author’s face does not need to appear on camera, while viewers will only be interested in usability of the content watched.

What is more, working with various communication channels, we noticed that the YouTube audience is the toughest one: all negative aspects are welcomed in a video. On the other hand, the ‘kindest’ audience of Russian users is on Odnoklassniki.

Russian channels which lead in the number of views and subscribers

According to the current information, in the top ten of Russian YouTube you can see:

  • Channels for kids and parents such as GetMovies (50.3 million followers) and Like Nastya vlog (20.2 million followers), the channel with roleplay-oriented children's content.

  • Entertainment channels: HiMan and his challenge videos (19.4 million followers) and TheBrainMaps (17.7 million followers) and the channel about live of two charming dachshunds – Chapitovsky (23 million followers).

  • Educational video blog of popular Russian informational and educational website AdMe. About 16.5 million users are subscribed to its YouTube channel.

  • The channel of famous letsplayer and streamer Mamrock, who has 18.9 million followers on YouTube, and others (KuplinovPlay, EdisonPts, Compot). By the way, video content for gamers is incredibly popular in Russia, to learn more about this segment read our article dedicated to gaming on YouTube.


YouTube Channel




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Like Nastya Vlog































How to advertise on Russian YouTube after Google restrictions

In the spring of 2022 Google imposed a ban for any ads from Russian advertisers on all services of the company. YouTube is no exception – Russian users don’t see any direct advertising on the platform, and bloggers’ content is not monetized officially anymore.

But this circumstance didn’t make YouTube an inefficient platform for business,on the contrary, it encouraged advertisers in Russia to search for alternative ways for promoting their products. Bloggers have easily adapted to the changes and introduced new forms of native advertising such as preroll, midroll and postroll which are similar to direct YouTube ads in terms of videos’ timing. Furthermore, many vloggers increased the number of advertising integrations without facing the significant outflow of subscribers.

It’s not a secret that popular bloggers can make a strong influence, and this concerns not only a fanbase but even a more or less loyal audience. Native promoting of the product in influencer’s video is not so annoying as the official ads, and can be a very strong tool in case of matching of target audience. According to research, users bought goods and services following the recommendation of some blogger. And 46% of people who watch vlogs take into account their favorite blogger’s opinion before buying anything. 

On Russian YouTube you may now see such formats of native ads. More about it here.

Regulatory nuances

It seems that marketers even win in the situation where they have to buy advertising directly from YouTube bloggers instead of paying Google. But there is one serious problem you may face placing ads on YouTube in Russia – you must mark it and do it correctly. 

On the first of September, 2022, updated advertising law entered into force, which obliges marketers to mark any ad and send appropriate data to the United Register of Internet Advertisements. The snag is that advertisers can’t submit such information to the Register directly, there are operators of advertising data acting as mediators between companies and government. The marketers have to send their ads with an indication of advertiser, advertisement platform, mediator, etc. to these operators. The disruption of the chain can cause large fines of up to 500 000 roubles for one unmarked ad. 

As you see, it is quite easy to get confused with legal features of marking ads, among which YouTube native promoting, in Russia. Read about all the legal details in our special guide

To avoid the troubles with ads marking and minimize the risk of being fined we strongly recommend you delegate advertising to the competent and reliable agency.

YouTube Trends: Summary

Following the results of the aforesaid, we can come to a conclusion that YouTube will continue to gain popularity and be attractive for Russians. And despite restrictions on direct advertising for marketers in Russia there are still efficient and powerful tools for promoting on the platform. Careful study of your target audience and competent choice of vloggers may bring really high results.

If you have a goal to use this video service for ads placement, RMAA Group experts are always ready to provide you with knowledgeable assistance. If you want to get more detailed information on analytics of visitation of Russian popular social medias and, in particular, YouTube, and detailed study of the inluencer marketing market in Russia and the CIS, please download a free version of our White Paper ‘Russian-Speaking Influencer Marketing Overview’. The information contained therein will help to learn profiles of the influencer ecosystems in Russia, including platform-specific overviews for YouTube, VKontakte, Telegram, and others, showcasing the reach and impact of influencers across various social media. And other useful information for marketers. 

Also, RMAA specialists will help you create effective YouTube strategy for brand promotion. We will develop a campaign with triggers for a specific target audience, in addition to determining the appropriate channels for brand promotion and establishing communication with their owners. Contact our manager by using the details on the Contact Us tab. We guarantee a prompt response. 

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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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