The economy of the Russian segment of the Internet, widely known as the Runet, will add 16.7% in 2016 to 1.581 trillion rubles, the Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC) said.
The growth is secured by a number of factors, including expansion of users’ expertise in Internet surfing, an omnipresent access to the Web and effective work of online retailers, according to the association’s research of the Runet economy in 2015-2016.
“The Runet has an audience of 86 million people, or 70% of the country’s population. Of the total, active audience, or people surfing the Web every day, count 70.8 million, or 57.5% of population”, RAEC chief analyst Karen Kazaryan said.
The market of contextual advertising is expected to grow by 27% in 2016 to 102 billion rubles; media advertisements will rise by 8.6% to 21.5 billion rubles, and video advertisements will swell by 23.6% to 5.5 billion rubles, the analyst said.
The segment of e-commerce will also continue growing this year: online retail will add 18% to 706 billion rubles; online traveling will go up by 15% to 363 billion rubles; and online services – like taxi hailing, coupons, food delivery and tickets for events – will also increase by 15% to 169 billion rubles.
“We are passing through a crisis, but we are growing”, Deputy Communications Minister Alexei Volin said. “The Runet economy is prospering, and even the crisis year is demonstrating good results. We think the whole economy will find a way out of the turbulence in 2017, and the Internet economy can exceed then a physiological benchmark of 3% (of the country’s gross domestic product)”.
“The crisis played into the hands of the industry. More than half of respondents of the research saw higher productivity and competitiveness, more new products. The crisis was not an obstacle for consumption as well, although an average check (of online media content purchases) dropped by 10%, but we’ve seen more users of legal content”.
Every third active Runet user pays for content in the Web, according to RAEC.
The market of e-books will jump by 43% in 2016 to 2.3 billion rubles after a 68% increase in 2015. The segment of online video will gain 20% this year to 4.6 billion rubles; the segment of online music – 12% to 2.8 billion rubles; and the segment of games – 14% to 53.2 billion rubles.
Online payments will rise by 17% in 2016 to 686 billion rubles, while they grew by 23.5% in 2015 to 588 billion rubles.
Online retailer Ozon.ru’s Web Director Mikhail Osin said the data include only Russian e-stores, without any cross-border shopping.
“I would like to point out three things. First, we see a rushing growth of mobile device usage, but its level still lags far behind the one in Western countries. At Ozon.ru, 60% of users place orders via desktops, and 40% via mobile devices”, he said.
“The second thing is multi-categorizing of e-stores, which are now trying to offer lots of products, including food and children’s goods. And the third thing is that we are going to see a leading e-seller appear, because now market shares of top players are minor. In general, the market has huge prospects”.
Presidential aide for the Internet German Klimenko said that online stores were eating market shares from offline outlets. “Growth is the only indicator of health. The government is attentive to the Web. Our task is to understand trends. Our future is in entering new industries”, he said.
“Next year, the main hopes are placed on telemedicine, which implies provision of medical help online. Later construction and education will come”, he added. (Prime/Business World Magazine)