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YouTube: 2018 Development Trends in Russia and Russian-Language Internet



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YouTube is a video portal owned by Google, which is famous in Russia. Every day Russian watch various video here: movies, TV shows, trailers, amateur video, vlogs etc. They are subscribed to numerous channels of various themes. YouTube popularity among Russian users is growing, which contributes to growth of advertising budgets spent by advertisers on promotion of their goods and services because of ads that are communicated to viewers.

How will YouTube develop in 2018? What innovations and development trends should be awaited from this video portal? Will it be same popular among Russians? We will answer these and other questions in the article of our RMAA Group blog.

YouTube: 2017 Russian Statistics

The statistics shows that the video portal is getting more and more popular every year among Russian users. According to data of Mediascope, a well-known think tank, in 2017 more than 40% of the Russian population watched video in YouTube various channels. Compared to 2016, the analytical results changed little, if at all. However, in light of the Internet’s development as of the main information source, one can expect an increase in YouTube’s popularity among Russian users in 2018.

Audience Google Sites, 12-64 years, December 2017


Furthermore, given that the Internet is used by more than 70% of the Russian population, >40% is a clearly significant indicator of YouTube popularity. That being said, one should not forget that, for instance, popularity of social networks is growing due to their video content, which was initially uploaded in this video portal; thus, we can surely say about a higher value of YouTube among Russian users.

What Russian channels lead in the number of views and subscribers?

According to the current information yearly provided by WhatStat, which monitors statistics of YouTube channels:

  1. The most popular channel is GetMovies presenting itself as the first family channel. The number of its subscribers is more than 16 million people, and there are more than 2,600 video in the channel.

  2. The second place is taken by Masha and the Bear, Russian animated series.

  3. The third place is taken by EeOneGuy – a vlog that is popular not only in Russia, but also in the whole territory of CIS countries. As it is seen from the presented statistics, entertainment channels focused on coverage of youth are more popular among and interesting for Russian audience.

Development of YouTube Directions

Vlogger content

Vlogs are getting more and more interesting for Russian YouTube users. The reason for this is not only an opportunity to learn something new. The main factor of growth in popularity of such channels is their ability to entertain viewers. In its turn, Mediascope analysis agency in partnership with PRT Edelman Affiliate presented a research on integration of brands into the bloggers’ content as of September 2017. The purpose is to define if native ads that are showed to vlogs’ viewers are memorized. Large viewership was interrogated, as a result of which it was found that:

  • 66% consider vloggers’ channels to be sources of information on novelties and fashionable trends;
  • 50% say that ads in vlogs help them properly choose goods and services;
  • 48% are sure that the very bloggers like the goods and services they promote, so they trust them.

Mobile audience expansion

Mobile audience of the Internet and, in particular, YouTube grows every year. It is stimulated by development of mobile technologies, as well as the Internet tariff cut in Russia. Nowadays, Russians watch video not on PCs, but on mobile devices more often, and this tendency will survive in 2018, too. Most analysts forecast growth of YouTube mobile audience: it is easier to use a smartphone to watch an interesting video at any time.

Besides, it became popular to use mobile devices for recording a video for YouTube. It is no secret that this is the way one always has an opportunity to shot the catchiest video about events ‘in the here and now’. Many owners of mobile devices miss no opportunities to upload their video on YouTube, while amateur content is very popular today among Russian visitors of this portal.
Games as 2018 YouTube trend

The preference analysis of Russian youth is indicative of consistency and increase in interest to bloggers and channels that let learn the latest news in the gaming world. Young Russians prefer to subscribe to channels of those who are keen on computer games, shot videos with the walkthrough of certain game stages and simultaneous commenting on their actions and game peculiarities.

They actively share video posts in social networks, which contributes to the spread of not only the information that forms the basis of the video: the integrated ads are spread among young Russian users, too.

TV programs and live streams on YouTube

As for popularity among Russians, television does not give the first place to the Internet yet. However, TV channels have already understood how important it is to use YouTube to enhance their rating. After a program is showed on TV, it is immediately duplicated on YouTube, attracting those who failed to watch it on TV on time.

It is worth noting that the speed of new airplays increased in 2017. While several days or even weeks used to pass between a show of a TV program and its upload on the video portal, now it can already be watched online a couple of hours since the moment it was shown on the TV screen. The upload speed directly influences the popularity of both the program and the channel that let users watch their favorite program.

The trend of 2018, as analysts believe, is increase in popularity of live streams on YouTube. In 2017, this way of presenting video information had already attracted many Internet users. Live streams enable online communication with viewers and promote expansion of the channel audience. The use of this opportunity is offered by YouTube Live, a platform with a lot of in-built useful tools, including a chat and statistics.

YouTube content development

As has been said above, amateur content attracts Russian users of YouTube. However, many people still prefer watching professionally made video with application of new technologies. 360° videos already enjoy great popularity—they make it possible to create an effect of being ‘in shot’. In 2018, Spatial Audio will be used, too—this technology enables creation of video with 3D sound to imitate real life perception and improve an effect of live presence in shot.

If to analyze the content that appeared on YouTube over recent years, we can say that its quality has changed tremendously. Analysts say that the content of channels is ‘growing up’ together with its subscribers. There are more videos of good quality with the use of various technical features. This tendency will survive in 2018, too, because demands of Russian for video content quality grow every year.

Native ads on YouTube

As per experts’ estimates, YouTube advertising budgets have increased several-fold over the last years. It is quite obvious due to popularity of this video portal, caused by its richness with numerous videos, movies, music clips etc. Ads are showed both before the start of the video and during its show. Some channel owners have already overplayed with its inclusion. Ads are showed nearly every 5 minutes, which has a negative impact on a user’s desire to watch video on this channel in future. Banner ads that constantly pop up make it even worse and often take more space than the very video window.

Native ads in video often scare away YouTube users—sometimes they have low quality and aggressive nature. However, the way out is quite obvious—one must know how to include ads and do it gently. RMAA Group experts know what YouTube ads should be like to smooth the way to their goal. If ads are presented skillfully, they will be adequately perceived by video viewers and will not produce a wish to close the page and look for another channel where native ads will not cause any negative feelings.

2018 Video Interesting Themes: Forecast

Popular video in 2018:

  • Music clips, made not only by famous musicians. These days, Russian bloggers and even ordinary Russians make their own clips and upload them on YouTube.
  • Video about conflicts—not only concerning Russians’ lives, but also ones between bloggers who upload their content on the video portal.
  • Reviews of new technologies of entertainment and earnings, in particular, concerning development of cryptocurrencies in Russia.
  • Video about healthy lifestyle. Healthy living is gaining popularity in Russia. Sports, healthy diet, active leisure — all these themes will be interesting for Russians.

2018 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. Besides, we should add that the video portal will get technically better. So, in early 2018 a change of its mobile version for Android was announced: introduction of a hide mode, when watched video will not be saved in history, as well as a night theme (change of image from light to dark one) and an option to scroll ads by right swipe. These innovations confirm that YouTube is really interested in optimization of its content for mobile views.

Internet development gives rise to growth of interest to YouTube. It is reasonable to say that its advertising opportunities will clearly grow. 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 Internet portals and, in particular, YouTube, please download a free version of the book Digital Marketing in Russia 2018. The information contained therein will help to learn the activeness indicators of various categories of Russian users who prefer the Internet, including YouTube that is famous in Russia for its informational value and entertaining component.

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About the Author

The editor of the RMAA Group`s blog. Copywriter since 2009. Engaged in a large-scale study of the Russian advertising market and its features.

Author Natalya Mustafaeva
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