Study: Ukrainians browse more, online advertising yet to boom
Ukraine is a land of promise for online marketers. It has the largest population in Central and Eastern Europe, and one of the region's fastest growing number of Internet users. But advertisers have yet to cash in on these opportunities.
These are the findings of a new report by Gemius SA, a research and marketing agency. The group's most recent report gives a unique peek at the region's online opportunities.
Ukraine is one of 15 countries of the region analyzed during the period between December 2010 and December 2011. Ukraine had the highest audience growth in the region at 17.5 percent (for those older than 14 years of age.)
That translates into 2.4 million more users, bringing the total number of users to 13.6 million. By comparison, the regional Internet population grew by 9.2 percent, or by 12 million users.
Yet the Internet advertising market remains weak in Ukraine. Advertisers only spent about four euros per user, the third lowest regional figure after Belarus and Romania.
The good news is that Ukraine's online advertising grew at the fastest rate in the region, by 57 percent, compared to 2010. The national market reached Hr 440 million, Yandex Ukraine CEO Sergei Petrenko was quoted in the report as saying.
The report shows that social net- works are popular. Four of them are in the top 10 most browsed websites. Three of them are Russian – Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki and Fotostrana. Facebook is also on this list.
“One of the few market segments where the leadership belongs to a local player is online shopping,” the report says, with Rozetka.ua having a strong market position.
Ukrainian internet users also "began to perceive the web more as a source of advice on offline matters. Taking a look at the chart makes clear that the website categories which grew most rapidly in 2011 were health & medicine, women, entertainment & leisure,” the report says. The website which grew most in was eurolab.ua, a medical portal, which had a mere 6,000 users in December 2010 and a half-million one year later.
Users with a higher education constitute the largest group of Internet users (41.2 percent).
Residents of cities with more than 500,000 residents make up the biggest group of Internet users – 45.7 percent. The rate of Internet penetration in Ukraine is 33 percent.
In Ukraine, less than 5 percent of all pageviews were generated with mobile devices in 2011. While low, it's higher than the regional average. In 2011, Ukrainians mostly used Nokia phones, but Apple’s share is rising.
Ukraine’s Internet audience is small but growing fast, according to research and marketing firm Gemius SA.