This is turning out to be an interesting year for Russia’s OTT industry.
Last month we saw Rostelecom and National Media Group (NMG) enter into an agreement of intent to merge their platforms Wink and more.TV.
The move, which is aimed at strengthening the position of both parties in the Russian content production and distribution market, will result in the creation of a joint venture 70% owned by Rostelecom and 30% by NMG and operating under the Wink brand.
It will also come against the backdrop of both a loss in subscribers and slowdown in revenues across the sector. In the former case, one of the causes could well be the disappearance of premieres and other Western content from platforms’ offers. Netflix and Megogo are also no longer present in the country, though this is unlikely to have significantly impacted on total subscriber numbers.
A recent survey undertaken by GfK and published by Cableman pointed to a significant reduction in subscriber numbers at both ivi and Okko, hitherto two of Russia’s leading OTT platforms, in the second quarter. It also showed that Kinopoisk remained in top spot in terms of both the total number of subscribers (14.7%) and those paying for its services (10.5%).
Meanwhile, a report published by TelecomDaily indicated that the total revenues of legal OTT services in Russia amounted to €417.3 million in the first half of this year. Although this was 5% more than in the same period in 2021, last year as a whole the sector grew by 41%.
TelecomDaily believes that the revenues previously made by Netflix and Megogo have been distributed among other OTT providers and indeed pirate sites. It also points to the success of Kinopoisk, which took over from ivi in top spot after seeing its share of revenues almost double from 13% to 23.2%.
Other insights into the changes taking place in the sector have been offered by TMT Consulting. It recently announced that the total audience for OTT services in Russia fell by 4% in the first half of this year to 65 million. At the same time, the number of households with at least one OTT subscription was little changed at 11.0 million, compared to 11.3 million at the end of last year. Moreover, subscription penetration among Russian households remained at 20%.
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