SEO and SEM for Russian search engines

13 Must-Know Facts About Russian Mobile Internet

Historically, I always found difficult locating information about Russian mobile marketing and the mobile market itself. While in the West mobile has been a hot topic since a few years back, the information in Russia was scarce. Last week, however, I found a great fresh report with all sorts of juicy data about Russian mobile Internet, created by WapStart (the largest mobile ad networks in Russia and CIS) and OpenStat (a web analytics system).

The original report is in Russian, but I would like to provide a rather detailed summary of it here on RussianSearchTips, because this information is worth a fortune for anyone looking into mobile marketing in Russia.

Fact 1: The size of Russian mobile internet audience is 34,5 million

In my last posts about Russian mobile Internet (which was about a year ago!), I mentioned that, while lagging behind the West, Russian mobile Internet usage is growing at a rapid pace. The first two month of 2012 it grew by another 2,5%. It looks like by the end of 2012, the number of Russian mobile Internet increased by another 50%.

Fact 2: Apple, Nokia, and Samsung are the leading brands of mobile devices in Russia

While last year Nokia was holding the leading position in the Russian market, in 2012, just like in the rest of Europe, Nokia’s market share in Russia is falling like a brick. While Apple gained 9% market share in one year, Nokia list 21%.

leading brands of mobile devices in russia

Fact 3: iOS is the leading mobile operating system in Russia

While Android-based devices are taking the leading position in the world, in Russia iOS is a definite leader, according to WapStart:

Fact 4: Opera Mini is the most popular mobile browser in Russia

Opera is the leader of mobile browser market in Russia: different versions of Opera browsers (Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, Opera Tablet) make up for almost 50% of the market. Safari is the second biggest player (31%), followed by Android Browser (17%):

Fact 5: The majority of Russian Android devices run on Gingerbread (2.3) version

Despite being followed by 3 newer versions in the last 2 years, GingerBread is still the most common version of Android OS in Russia:

Fact 6: iOS 5.1.1 is the most common version on Apple devices in Russia

Apple users seem to update the OS on their devices more regularly (or perhaps buy new devices?). The latest iOS 5.1.1 was by far the most common version of the operating system at the time when the report was made. Now, with iOS 6 being released, this picture is probably different, however these stats say something about Apple holders’ behavior.

Fact 7: 40% of all visits from mobile devices are made in Moscow

The capital of Russia is also Russia’s economic hub. Just like with eCommerce, it is also the most developed region for mobile Internet usage. The second largest city Saint Petersburg is not even half of the size of Moscow when it comes to mobile traffic. The rest of Russia together delivers as much mobile traffic as Moscow region alone.

Fact 8: 99% of all mobile browsers used in Russia support cookies

Tracking is always somewhat of an issue when dealing with mobile sites and advertizing. Having a website fully optimized for mobile screens can open up great possibilities for advertizing and analyzing the data, since most of the mobile browsers used in Russia support cookies.

Fact 9: only 14% of all mobile browsers used in Russia support Flash

Just like in the rest of the world, Flash websites are not going to work in the mobile world in Russia. Very small percentage of mobile browsers support Flash.

Fact 10: the highest CTR for mobile ads in Russia is seen on Saturdays and Sundays

The peak of activity on weekends is nothing new to B2C marketers. This is the case in most markets, and Russia is not an exception. Mobile advertizing delivers more traffic on weekends, and the click-through rate increases by 6% – from average 0.2653% to 0.2808%.

Fact 11: Russian mobile audience is most active in the evenings

The graph below shows activity of mobile audience broken down by hour.

The blue bars indicate activity on weekends, the white bars – activity on weekdays.

According to WapStart data, click-through rate of mobile ads significantly increases in the evenings, both on weekdays and weekends.

Fact 12: Russian mobile ads targeting Apple devices have the highest CTR

Generally, the CTR of mobile ads in Russia is averaging between 0.2653% to 0.2808%, but owners of certain devices are more responsive to advertizing than others. Mobile ads targeted towards Apple devices (iPad, iPhone) have by far the highest CTR (0.46%), surprisingly, followed by Motorola and Blackberry (whose market shares, however, are insignificant comparing to the market leaders Apple, Nokia and Samsung).

Fact 13: Clicks from iPad are the most expensive

The most expensive device to target with mobile ads in Russia is Apple’s iPad. On average, a click from an iPad is worth 5.44 Russian Rubles (approximately 17 US Dollar cents / 13 Euro cents). iPhone-targeted traffic is the second most expensive with average CPC of 3.47 Russian Rubles (approximately 11 US Dollar cents / 9 Euro cents).

I believe it is obvious that Russia is catching up with the Western mobile craze: the mobile Internet usage is growing and the advertizing volumes are following the same trend. Although, being just a tiny part of the Russian Internet market today, mobile marketing has a promising future. The latest research by J’son & Partners Consulting predict that Russia’s mobile advertizing market will reach $60.8 m in value by the end of 2012, and grown up to $215.8 m by 2015. The question is, are you in the game?

Anna Oshkalo

Anna is a blogger and online marketing consultant specializing in SEO and SEM for Russian search engines. To see more of Anna's posts, follow her on Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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3 Responses to “13 Must-Know Facts About Russian Mobile Internet”

  1. […] That often makes it harder to find facts on the topic. So we can all thank Anna Oshkalo, for discovering and translating, this in-depth mobile report from WebStart (the largest mobile ad network in Russia/CIS) and […]

  2. […] The World’s Biggest Country In terms of geographical size, you don’t get any bigger than Russia. And that hasn’t helped the country any when it comes to improving mobile infrastructure to many far-flung regions. While the Russian mobile Internet remains a few steps behind Western markets, it is rapidly growing, albeit this development is mostly centered on main city hubs. Moscow and St. Petersburg today account for 40% of all mobile Internet usage in the country, according to Anna Oshkalo of Russian Search Tips. […]