Russian people love playing games, and, unlike other digital content, don’t mind paying for them. According to the recent research conducted by J’son & Partners Consulting games account for astonishing 91% of the digital content market in Russia.
Smartphone penetration in Russia hit 36% in 2013, and although no official start have been released for 2014, I believe it will reach 40% this year. Mobile games is a relatively new for the Russian market phenomenon, however already heavily adopted one. Out friends from WapStart, Russia’s largest mobile ad network, conducted a research to understand how Russian people play games on their smartphones.
Mobile marketing in Russia is still at its early stage. During the last few years new mobile networks – some good, some not so good – have been popping up in Russia as the mobile Internet usage kept growing.
Surprisingly, none of the Russian Internet giants have been paying too much attention to mobile advertising. Of course, there are mobile ad formats on Facebook, whose audience in Russia is quite limited, and Google, whose market share in Russia is only somewhat 25-30%. Neither Yandex, nor any of the major social networks have so far created any mobile-specific advertising products up until now.
Almost exactly two years ago Facebook revolutionised mobile advertising with their app install ads. Twitter followed earlier this year introducing their own all install format. Last week Russia’s largest social network vKontakte, aka VK or vk.com, also announced [in Russian] their very own mobile app install ad format to help app developers marketing their app in Russia and CIS.
Last week I’ve attended the greatest event of mobile industry – Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Of course, I took the opportunity to pass by Yandex stand and ask some questions about mobile plans for 2014.
I had a very nice chat Vladimir from Yandex team, who told me about Yandex.Kit, Yandex.Store and other mobile products that have been launched tin the past few months.
What is Yandex.Kit and who is it for?
Yandex.Kit is a firmware for Android devices that offers a package of Yandex services and creates Android experience “without Google”.
Mobile Internet usage skyrocketed in Russia in the last few years, growing by over 50% each year, which, of course, could not stay unnoticed by both researchers and businesses.
One of the largest market research companies in Russia — TNS Russia — has recently released several interesting studies about Russian mobile Internet, where they not only showed market overall market trends, but dug deeper into mobile app usage.
Last week I had an opportunity to interview Oleg Pavlioutchenko, Managing Partner of WapStart — the largest mobile ad network in Russia and CIS. Serving over 4.2 billion requests per month with a reach to over 25 mln visitors WapStart have been called “AdMob of Russia”.
I am very excited to publish this interview with Oleg here on Russian Search Tips and discuss mobile marketing and mobile apps in Russia.