While working on 2011 edition, let us share with you the data compendium concerning the internet market of Central and Eastern Europe in 2010.
The second edition of one of the most prestigious Gemius projects – the “Do you CEE?” report, was prepared in cooperation with IAB Europe as a continuation of the highly successful study launched in 2009. “Do you CEE?” report gained wide recognition as a reliable, transparent and accurate source of data and was extremely popular amidst internet industry specialists.
The report is dedicated to all those who would like to gain a deeper understanding of the region’s online communities, the needs and requirements of the market and the behaviour of CEE internet users. It also provides unique knowledge for more effective e-business activities and online investment, and indicates the main trends of internet usage pinpointing the competitive advantages of particular online players, helping to achieve business goals for media owners and agencies.
COUNSELORS:Alain Heureux, Filip Pieczyński,Jarosław SobolewskiAUTHORS:Małgorzata Dudko, Michalina Pelc,Bartosz WardzińskiCONTRIBUTORS:Tamás Ács, Vesselin Angelov, MikhailDoroshevich, Catalin Emilian, TomášGregor, Vladimir Houba, Vlad Ionescu,Ľuboš Ivanič, Vibor Kalogjera, MartaKlepka, Alexander Levshin, DmytroLysiuk, Gökhan Mertay, GregorNišavič, Toms Panders, Jolita Reidman,Natalia Szymańska, Judit Völgyesi,Paap Peterson, Ieva KnāķeSUPPORT:Marcin Dukat, Dawid Fillmann, ŁukaszUrbański, Katarzyna ZagórskaThe authors of „Do you CEE? The Internet Market of Central and Eastern Europein 2010” wish to thank Romanian Audit Bureau of Circulations (BRAT) for providing access to data concerning the Romanian internet and for preparing the chapter on the online market in Romania.WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO:Ričardas Baltaduonis, Tomáš Búřil, Joanna Gajewska, Dmitry Gizhdevan, ElvijusGudžiūnas, Hristo Ivanov, Jan Jilek, Plamen Kalinikov, Edgars Kalniņš, AlexanderKim, Piotr Kowalczyk, István Kürti, Martin Kyncl, Tomáš Lauko, Gergana Marinova,Péter Novák, Cezar Paraschiv, Sergey Petrenko, Laurentiu Pop, Igor Rõtov, ViktorsRožkalns, Andrey Sebrant, Dmytro Sholomko, Petar Simeonov, Egidijus Sirvydis,Saša Škorić, Radoš Skrt, Aleksander Stelmakh, Orkun Tekin, Silviu Toma, GaborTóth, Tomáš Varga, Adina Vasilescu, Dilyan Velichkov, Meelis Vill, Alex Visa, ArturWaliszewski, Jurij Ziccer Anatoljewicz
ALAIN HEUREUXIAB Europe President and CEOAfter the enormous success of the first Do you CEE? report produced incollaboration with Gemius, I’m delighted to get back to the industry with a second report explaining the dynamics of the CEE region in 2010. Other regional reports will be provided by IAB Europe in response to the positive feedback from the members.CEE remains a special region for us, as we can feel the energy, innovation, creativity and strong growth of these markets. Jarosław Sobolewski (Manager of IAB Poland, Board member IAB Europe and Regional Manager on the CEE Region) and Martin Radelfinger (International Business Director Goldbach Media-Adconion) are working closely with the European team, the Board as well as partners like Gemius in supporting the growth, training local IABs and Partner associations and providing information to the industry. This report serves as a source of valuable information not only for marketers, media houses and advertisers who are looking for new areas for expansion, but also for the younger markets to measure their own progress and identify areas where they can continue to develop and grow. FILIP PIECZYŃSKIGemius Management Board Vice PresidentGemius has the great pleasure to present you Do you CEE? The Internet Marketof Central and Eastern Europe in 2010. This is already our second compendiumof knowledge on the CEE online reality. The last year’s report proved to be immensely popular and revealed the scale of demand for credible and unbiased compilation of data concerning the entire region. The report has also become one of the most eminent and prestigious projects carried out by Gemius.Like in 2009, this year’s report presents a landscape of the region and an overview of each CEE market, discussing its main players, online audience and most popular tools. Those familiar with the 2009 version of the report will appreciate the inclusion of interesting data from two more markets into the analysis: Belarus and Turkey. It is in these countries that Gemius successfully started its operations in the years 2009 and 2010. I would like to thank our partner in this and last year’s project, IAB Europe, as well as all those whose effort made the creation of the report possible. I cordially invite you to join us in analysing the online reality of Anno Domini 2010 – a year marked by the growing importance of video content, invariable popularity of social networking websites and a battle of web browsers. Do you CEE?
10 ONLINE LANDSCAPEThe online market in Central and characteristics, let us look at the dataEastern Europe is developing; describing the landscape of this fertiletherefore the dynamics of its growth online land.is still one of the key factors indicatingits great potential. Despite the fact The comprehensive description ofthat differences in the development of the online area in Central and Easternthe internet in various CEE countries Europe should focus on three basicare visible, an increase in the number and interrelated elements: size ofof new users in the whole region is market, its level of development andnot losing momentum. In this respect, its business potential. In this chapterthe Central and Eastern European all three approaches will be presentedonline market is growing from and discussed.strength to strength and appears tobe a forward-moving and extremelypromising business sector. To betterunderstand its nature and general MARKET SIZECentral and Eastern Europe is a market Ukraine is one of the exceptions.of over 300 million people, therefore At the beginning of 2010 there werethe online area has tremendous over 45 million people in the countryopportunities for growth. According and less than 8.4 million internetto the gemiusAudience study, at the users. At the same time the onlinebeginning of 2010 in all CEE countries population in Romania was 7.6 million,(plus Turkey) there were over in the Czech Republic it was slightly117 million internet users. However, over 5.2 million and in Hungary almostthis region is extremely diverse and 4.2 million. In contrast, the CEE regionthe differences in sizes of these also covers such small online marketsmarkets are great. The largest market as Latvia (1.2 million internet users),is Russia, where in January 2010 Slovenia (1.1 million internet users)exactly 40.1 million individuals were and Estonia (0.8 million internetusing the internet on a regular basis. users). However, the absolute numberThe second largest and attention- of internet users is only the first stepdrawing online market is Turkey in an exhaustive description of the(almost 22 million internet users), market.however, it is often not countedamong the relevant CEE markets. Such It is extremely important to noteuncertainty does not concern Poland, that what makes the online marketswhere almost 15 million people interesting is also the dynamics ofregularly use the internet. their growth.All other markets are proportionatelysmaller and the size of each onlinepopulation in most cases reflects theactual size of each particular country.Do you CEE? Online Landscape
11Milions of users Internet population Chart 1 Internet population in the CEE region (January 2010); source of data: Ukraine: gemiusAudience; Hungary: gemius/Ipsos Fusion Data; Latvia: gemiusAudience; Belarus: gemiusAudience; Turkey: gemiusAudience; Czech Republic: NetMonitor - SPIR - Mediaresearch & Gemius; Romania: Mercury Research; Slovakia: AIMmonitor - AIM - Mediaresearch & Gemius; Bulgaria: gemiusAudience (data collected using Synovate research); Poland: Megapanel PBI/Gemius; Slovenia: gemiusAudience; Russia: Gemius estimation based on FOM statistics/gemiusAudience Data; Estonia: gemiusAudience (data collected using TURU-UURINGUTE AS research); Lithuania: gemiusAudience; Croatia: gemiusAudience [age groups – CEE: 15+; Russia: 18+; Romania: 14-64; Lithuania: 15-74]
12 Since the beginning of 2009 the As for the largest markets, the general online population in the dynamics of their development seem whole region of Central and Eastern to be inversely proportional to their Europe (together with Turkey) grew size. From January 2009 to January by over 9 million new internet 2010 the number of internet users in users. That is more than the entire Poland increased by 8% and in Russia population of Slovakia. Even more by barely 6%. important is the fact that when growth dynamics are taken into The slowest online population growth consideration, it becomes obvious in 2009 was observed in Lithuania that the largest internet markets are and Croatia. In both countries the not those which develop fastest. In number of regular internet users 2009, as in the previous year, Ukraine increased by 3% (from 1.45 to 1.49 was the country which experienced, million) and 2% (from 1.63 to 1.66 relatively speaking, the greatest million), respectively. increase in the number of internet users (15%). During the same period the online population of Hungary increased by 13% and in Latvia by 12%. It is worth noting that the Latvian market is one of the smallest in the whole CEE region. Internet users 2009-2010Milions of users Growth 2009 - 2010 Chart 2 Internet population in the CEE region – growth (January 2009 – January 2010); source of data: Ukraine: gemiusAudience; Hungary: gemius/Ipsos Fusion Data; Latvia: gemiusAudience; Turkey: gemiusAudience; Czech Republic: NetMonitor - SPIR - Mediaresearch & Gemius; Romania: Mercury Research; Slovakia: AIMmonitor - AIM - Mediaresearch & Gemius; Bulgaria: gemiusAudience (data collected using Synovate research); Poland: Megapanel PBI/Gemius; Slovenia: gemiusAudience; Russia: Gemius estimation based on FOM statistics / gemiusAudience Data; Estonia: gemiusAudience (data collected using TURU- UURINGUTE AS research); Lithuania: gemiusAudience; Croatia: gemiusAudience [age groups – CEE: 15+; Russia: 18+; Romania: 14-64; Lithuania: 15-74] Do you CEE? Online Landscape
13 MARKET DEVELOPMENTThe size and speed of growth attest to equally promising parts of the world,the potential of the CEE online market. the situation is improving fast.However, in answer to the questionof the state of its development, This is the case in Ukraine, whichanother indicator may be useful, i.e. for several years has been the mostinternet penetration. If one takes dynamically developing online marketinto account the differences in the and in the following comparison holdssize of CEE countries, it becomes the last position with its internetpossible to determine the real level penetration level at a mere 21%.and diversification of the development According to the gemiusAudienceof the internet infrastructure in the study, a quite low internet penetrationregion. level is also found in Belarus (35%) and Russia (36%), which,The general observation does not as a large and extremely diverserefer directly to the data. When market, still faces many obstaclescomparing the CEE online market as to the development of its interneta whole with its western counterpart, infrastructure. Similarly, Turkey, oneit becomes evident that this region still of the newest markets participating indoes not display a penetration level the gemiusAudience study, recordedsimilar to that found in more ‘mature’ an internet penetration level of 40%economies. However, as in other at he beginning of 2010.
14Internet penetrationInternet penetration [%]Chart 3 Internet penetration in the CEE region (January 2009 – January 2010)source of data: Ukraine: gemiusAudience; Hungary: gemius/Ipsos Fusion Data; Latvia: gemiusAudience; Czech Republic: NetMonitor- SPIR - Mediaresearch & Gemius; Romania: Mercury Research; Slovakia: AIMmonitor - AIM - Mediaresearch & Gemius; Bulgaria:gemiusAudience (data collected using Synovate research); Poland: Megapanel PBI/Gemius; Slovenia: gemiusAudience; Turkey: IpsosKMG; Russia: Gemius estimation based on FOM statistics/gemiusAudience Data; Estonia: gemiusAudience (data collected usingTURU-UURINGUTE AS research); Lithuania: gemiusAudience; Croatia: gemiusAudience; Belarus: gemiusAudience (February 2009,January 2010); Romania: Mercury Research; [age groups – CEE: 15+; Russia: 18+; Romania: 14-64; Lithuania: 15-74]Interestingly, the highest level of Should this result be regarded asinternet penetration in Central satisfactory? Yes, especially seeingand Eastern Europe is the domain that no country in this part of theof small and very small countries, world is sluggish when it comes towhich have already managed to cope internet penetration growth. Sincewith a host of challenges associated last year this indicator has increasedwith infrastructural and business in all CEE markets. The greatestdevelopment. In this respect, Estonia growth took place in Belarus.appears to be the undisputed leader Between January 2009 and Januaryof the whole region. In January 2010 2010 internet penetration in thisinternet penetration in this country country increased by astoundingreached a level of 71%. At the 9 percentage points. Significantforefront of the list are the other growth of internet penetration inBaltic countries: Latvia (65%) and 2009 has also been observed inLithuania (57%), as well as Slovenia Poland (7 percentage points) and(62%) and the Czech Republic Latvia (6 percentage points). In turn,(58%). In turn, the average internet for the Czech Republic, Croatia,penetration for the whole region Hungary and Romania 2009 wasat the beginning of 2010 equaled 49%. a year of moderate development,Do you CEE? Online Landscape
16 as internet penetration grew on CEE markets is much lower than these markets by 5 percentage in Western European countries. points. Incidentally, the average The leading position in Europe increase of internet penetration in this respect belongs to the for the entire region was also exactly Nordic markets (Iceland, Sweden, 5 percentage points. Norway, Denmark, and Finland), small countries like the Netherlands While considering the problem of or Luxembourg, as well as ‘mature’ internet development in Central economies such as the United and Eastern Europe, the issue of Kingdom. broadband internet penetration cannot go unnoticed. It is worth In the CEE region there is one remembering that the share of small, yet very interesting and modern, high-speed internet stigmatic market. Croatia, which is in connections on the market is not question, appears to have a virtually only a precise illustration of its brand new internet infrastructure. status, but also a key foundation The ‘online boom’ on that market for its future development. began suddenly and caused a massive flood of completely new Apart from Estonia, where technologies. Croatia did not have broadband internet penetration time to develop the infrastructure per household amounted to 62% of the internet gradually; it began in 2009, the share of high speed with the introduction of the newest internet connections on other possible solutions available. Broadband penetration - 2009Broadband penetration [%] Chart 4 Broadband internet penetration per households in the CEE region and Western Europe; sources of data: Eurostat, broadband.ua, Gemius calculations based on ITU, Ipsos, Turkey census, Russian census, National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus and ANCOM (National Authority for Administration and Ruling in Communications of Romania) Do you CEE? Online Landscape
17This is rather an extreme example;however, it shows clearly one ofthe most important characteristicsof the whole region. Despite the factthat the penetration of broadbandinternet remains lower than inWestern Europe, it is crucial toremember that the whole onlineindustry in CEE began to developlater than in western economies.Due to this fact, the natural processof improving and exchanging oldinternet technologies, practicallyspeaking, does not apply to mostcountries in this part of Europe.This is one of the features whichmake this region a place withextraordinary potential. The CEEonline market is something akinto a half-written book. In the nearfuture it will be filled only withthe newest content.
18 MARKET POTENTIALWhen a new medium creates a space often making significant shifts withinfor lucrative business activities, general budgets for all types of media.it immediately becomes a huge Although the global economic crisisindustry. This stage of development has led to a slowdown in the dynamicshas already taken place for the of online adspending on some CEEinternet in Central and Eastern Europe. markets, the general trend has beenFor years the ultimate indicator of its maintained. It is important to note atdevelopment has been - and still is this point that the interpretation of- money. And whenever money met data for online adspends must precedethe internet, online advertising always awareness that the methodology usedtriumphed. to measure it differs from country to country and depends on the researchCurrently, there is no need to convince company. However, the overall pictureanybody in the CEE region that online of online adspends in this regionadvertising is the future and the basis appears to be quite clear.for commercial operations withindigital media. Year on year, advertisers In 2009 on all CEE markets includedspend more money on the internet, in this summary over 1.3 billion EuroOnline adspendsChart 5 Online adspends in the CEE region (2008-2009);source of data: TNS Gallup; BG Piero & Argent; SPIR (Admonitor); TNS Emor; IAB Europe; PricewaterhouseCoopers; TNSMI; lra.lv; Ukra-inian Advertisement Coalition; AKAR; marketing.by; Gemius; (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia,Slovenia, Turkey: gross values; Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine: net values)Do you CEE? Online Landscape
19was spent for various kinds of online Due to the global economic collapse,advertising. This equates to a 11% 2009 was also a year of significantincrease of online adspends compared declines in online advertising spends.to the previous year. The largest The greatest falls were observedamount of online ad-money is found in Lithuania (-33%), Latvia (-32%)on the largest markets, like Russia, and Estonia (-22%). Thankfully,where in 2009 advertisers spent the prognosis for 2010 is veryalmost 494 million Euros. During promising. For example, a 15%the same period in Poland the volume increase in Romania and a 16%of online advertising expenditures increase in Lithuania are expectedequaled slightly more than 296 million within the next year.Euro, while in the Czech Republicalmost 250 million Euro was spent. As it is the case with describing onlineThis market recorded the second market size, one should rememberlargest increase in online advertising that in estimating business potential,expenditures, 32% to be exact. absolute values represent only a halfThe most rapid increase of online of the truth. When the total volumeadspends in the period between 2008 of online adspends is compared withand 2009 was observed in Ukraine. the number of internet users living inIn 2009 almost 15 million Euro each country, the juxtaposition of CEEwas spent on this market, which is markets leaders changes profoundly.an increase of 45%.
20Online adspends per internet userChart 6 Online adspends per internet user in the CEE region (2009);source of data: TNS Gallup; BG Piero & Argent; SPIR (Admonitor); TNS Emor; IAB Europe; PricewaterhouseCoopers; lra.lv; UkrainianAdvertisement Coalition; AKAR; marketing.by; Gemius; (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia,Turkey: gross values; Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine: net values)Although the largest amount of spent barely one Euro per averagemoney on online advertising is spent Belarusian internet user last year.in Russia, the industry fights for the Great hopes are pinned on the recentaverage internet user most fiercely campaign aiming to activate thein the Czech Republic, where 48 Euro Belarusian internet industry. One thingwas spent on this purpose in 2009. is certain: this market is definitelyIn the same period, advertisers in worth fighting for.Poland and Hungary spent 20 Euroto attract and acquire one customeron the internet. Russia comes fifthamong all CEE markets with a resultof 12 Euro per average internet user.A similar amount of money for onlineadvertising is spent in Slovakia (11Euro).Finally, the weakest market inthe CEE region is Belarus. In 2009only 4.3 million Euro was spent ononline advertising in this country.The rapid increase in the numberof internet users has caused theamount of money available to shrinkin a relatively constant manner.It is noteworthy that advertisersDo you CEE? Online Landscape
22 A STEP FORWARDIt is easy to demonstrate thatthe online market in Central andEastern Europe is a very interestingand promising area of business.It is also one of the fastest-growingmarkets. The internet industry in thispart of the world is already relativelystrong and year on year is becominglarger, more developed and moreaffluent.Moreover, the most importantfeature of the CEE online market isthat it is extremely diverse, colorfuland unique. This market not only hasmuch more room for new media and isa fertile ground for new investments,but is also a perfect field to conductcomplex and valuable researchstudies.To summarize, the objectives candiffer, but one simple need is common:it is worth knowing as much aspossible about the CEE online marketbecause in the near future it willmost certainly play one of the mostsignificant roles in the global networkwhich we know as the internet. Thus,it is hard to understate the value of thepresent report. It includes a detaileddescription of the online industry in allCEE countries. In this document onecan find the detailed characteristics ofthe major internet players, the onlineaudiences, the most significant onlineindustry organizations operating inthe region and much, much more.We hope that this year’s Do You CEE?report will be absorbing, practical anduseful.Do you CEE? Online Landscape
25 1. MAIN PLAYERS 1.1. TOP 10 WEBSITES BY REACH WEBSITE’S CATEGORY NUMBER OF REAL NUMBER OF PAGE PAGE VIEWS PER AVERAGE TIME PER REACH USERS VIEWS USER USER 1 mail.ru horizontal portal 1 155 292 203 421 963 176 04:23:36 37% 2 onliner.by new technologies portal 351 367 30 300 784 86 01:41:32 11% 3 kp.by news portal 242 600 2 310 352 10 00:20:27 8% 4 irr.by classified ads 226 648 15 174 480 67 00:51:12 7% 5 readme.ru news aggregator 201 415 1 626 006 8 00:20:31 7% 6 naviny.by news portal 160 206 1 052 255 7 00:09:23 5% 7 rbc.ru news portal 146 605 2 384 651 16 00:48:33 5% 8 loveplanet.ru dating service 111 857 17 789 718 159 02:21:29 4% 9 utro.ru news portal 110 218 512 713 5 00:06:51 4% 10 relax.by entertainment directory 103 822 1 620 685 16 00:16:20 3% Table 1 Top 10 websites in Belarus by reach level (gemiusAudience, March 2010)Two of the most significant features According to the gemiusAudienceillustrating the Belarusian online study results, in March 2010 themarket can be easily revealed by greatest number of Belarusian internetanalyzing the above ranking of top users visited mail.ru, one of theonline market players. The first is that, leading Russian horizontal portals,according to the gemiusAudience which takes second place on its ownstudy, 50% of the top 10 most domestic market. However, the otherpopular places on the web visited places on the ranking are occupied byby local internet users are Russian local players. The second website inwebsites. The second characteristic is Belarus is onliner.by, which is a verticalthat only two websites covered portal and extended discussion forum in the above ranking are something focused on new technologies andother than portal or news services. lifestyle. In March 2010 it gainedThe strong market position of a reach level among Belarusianhorizontal platforms is a common internet users of 11%. In turn, thephenomenon observed in many CEE third place was taken by kp.by, thecountries; however the great popularity most popular classical news service.of news services may be especiallysymptomatic for the Belarusian The website irr.by heads the group ofonline area, where free and objective most popular online sites in Belarusinformation seems to be of great value outside the top three in March 2010.and is sought after by many internet This internet database of classifiedusers. ads took fourth place among the most Do you CEE? Belarus
26popular websites, attracting over 9th place in the ranking of websites by220,000 real users and gaining reach are respectively: a Russian newsa reach of 7%. Despite the fact that aggregator, readme.ru (7% reach), andthis website is dedicated to a local two Russian news portals: rbc.ruaudience and has a .by domain, (5% reach) and utro.ru (4% reach).it cannot be considered as a purely However, when it comes to fun andlocal project. Irr.by is owned by entertainment, Belarusians seemBELPRONTO, which is the Belarusian to trust their own local solutions.branch of the famous Russian media Although 4% use the Russian datingholding, Pronto-Moscow. service loveplanet.ru, the ranking of top 10 websites on the market isOne of the most interesting top propped up by the local websitewebsites in Belarus is naviny.by, relax.by. This website is an extendeda news portal run by BelaPAN, online directory of places to goa private local information agency out in Minsk (related to culturalproviding political, economic, and entertainment activities). Itscommercial and financial news. This database includes information onsite, established by Ales Lipai, was in cafes, restaurants, clubs, cinemas,2006 the first Belarusian website to bowling centers, hotels, casinos andwin the Runet prize, a distinction given much more. This website seems toby the Russian Federal Agency for maintain a visible interest of thePress and Mass Communications. online audience. According to the gemiusAudience study, in March 2010Finally, what kind of internet activities it gained a reach of 3%. At the sameare popular among Belarusian internet time, its users spent an average ofusers? They most certainly read news more than 16 minutes on the site.on Russian websites. The 5th, 7th and 1.2. TOP 10 WEBSITES BY AVERAGE TIME SPENT PER USER NUMBER OF PAGE VIEWS PER AVERAGE TIME REACH REAL USERS USER PER USER 1 mail.ru 1 155 292 176 04:23:36 37% 2 torrents.by 58 905 143 02:30:01 2% 3 loveplanet.ru 111 857 159 02:21:29 4% 4 semeistvo.by 57 455 85 01:52:45 2% 5 borda.ru 26 090 72 01:46:54 1% 6 onliner.by 351 367 86 01:41:32 11% 7 sng.by 4 739 50 01:33:33 0,2% 8 charter97.org 100 646 48 01:18:27 3% 9 belaruspartisan.org 60 696 40 01:14:47 2% 10 football.by 19 645 41 00:56:45 1% Table 2 Top 10 websites in Belarus by average time spent per user (gemiusAudience, March 2010)Do you CEE? Belarus
27Among the websites participating in certainly lead to a situation wherethe gemiusAudience study in Belarus, native products and solutions will takethree of the top ten most popular ones over from foreign players.are Russian. According to the resultsof the above-mentioned research for How about Belarusian websitesMarch 2010, the average internet user which presently engage local internetin Belarus spent almost 4.4 hours and users most often? They seem to begenerated over 170 page views using developing at a rapid rate and looka Russian horizontal portal, mail.ru. and operate more professionally,The last six months in Belarus were an although most of them use veryextremely successful period for this simple business models. The mostbrand, which experienced over 10% ‘engaging’ Belarusian website, whichgrowth without bearing any significant holds second place in the abovecosts. The high quality of this product, ranking, is a torrent tracker. Torrent.bythe similarity of both languages was created almost one year ago(Russian and Belarusian) and a lack and it is a file exchange databaseof local alternatives have made its dedicated to Belarusian internet usersdevelopment possible and, to some only. As its administrators explain,extent, natural. the outbound traffic of this website is closed not because of legal issuesMail.ru is not the only Russian website or internal regulations, but becausewhich Belarusian internet users seem of the cost ($3 per 1GB transmittedto love. ’Love’ is the apt word here outside Belarus). Indeed, thebecause the website in 3rd place is telecommunications market in Belarusa Russian dating platform, loveplanet.ru. is still dominated by Beltelecom, whichDespite the fact that this website is a government-controlled monopoly.enjoys only a 4% reach among This example is an excellent illustrationBelarusian internet users, those who of the problems local onlineused it in March 2010 remained active developers and publishers in Belarusfor over two hours while looking for must continue to struggle with.‘love’ or casual acquaintances. Among all the websites monitored inIn this top ten, there is also one very the gemiusAudience study in Belarus,interesting player from Russia, such sites as: semeistvo.by (an onlineborda.ru. This website is not forum for parents, especially mothers,particularly popular in Belarus – only run by a private individual), sng.by1% of the general audience (slightly (a small but strong online communitymore than 26,000 real users) visited of gamers) and football.by (a verticalit in March 2010. However, those portal devoted to football with onlyindividuals spent an average of almost 1% reach) can be defined as the most2 hours chatting and exchanging engaging ones. However, the rankinginformation with others during this of the top 10 websites by averageperiod. Considering the fact that the time spent per user also includesBelarusian market is still undeveloped three other significant and interestingbut is growing extremely fast, the players.position of this player cannot bedeemed strong or enduring. The Let us begin with Onliner, a Belarusianrevival of local forces, the inflow portal devoted to lifestyle andof capital and the development of new technologies. It is owned byinfrastructure and local initiatives will a private unitary enterprise „Onliner”. Do you CEE? Belarus
28This website was established in 2001 characteristics (at least in terms ofand was initially an online forum, the local market). They operate as anthen, after the implementation of opposition, partisan in some manner,ICT-News, a directory and many to other sources of information onother subservices, became more of the Belarusian internet. It is no secreta regular horizontal platform. From that independent media in Belarus isits beginnings, onliner.by has not lost still a thorny issue, therefore (despiteits lifestyle character, but has grown the high quality of information andand gained significant popularity. engagement of users) advertisersAccording to the gemiusAudience are afraid to use these websites asstudy, it is currently the second largest placements for their online campaigns.website in Belarus with a reach among It is a pity, considering that the resultsinternet users of 11%. of the gemiusAudience study indicate that in March 2010 the averageThe 8th and 9th places in the above internet user spent more than anranking belong to particularly hour on each of these two websites.interesting players, charter97.org This would be a particularly longand belaruspartisan.org. These two exposure time for any potential piecenews websites have very specific of advertising. 1.3. TOP PORTALS NUMBER OF REAL PAGE VIEWS PER AVERAGE TIME PER REACH USERS USER USER 1 mail.ru 1 155 792 176 04:23:36 37% 2 onliner.by 351 367 86 01:41:32 11% 3 naviny.by 160 206 7 00:09:23 5% 4 myminsk.com 77 447 3 00:03:00 3% Table 3 Top 4 portals and news services in Belarus by reach level (gemiusAudience, March 2010)Among all the portals participating in Russia’s greatest player, Yandex.ru.the gemiusAudience study in Belarus, What is most interesting is that thethe unquestionable leader is mail.ru, high interest in Yandex’s searchwhich in March 2010 gained a reach services in Belarus has caused theof 37%. However, the largest Moscow-based service to preparehorizontal platform on the market full entry into this market. Yandexis tut.by, which, according to some announced last year its intention toestimates, is said to attract around open an office in Minsk and run2 million users (understood as unique a dedicated search engine in the .byvisitors) each month. Tut.by is a typical domain. According to the results ofinformation portal. gemiusTraffic, Yandex enjoys more than half of all visits which are begunRussia plays a significant role on the (with gemiusTraffic-participatingBelarusian online market, in particular websites) using any search engine.Do you CEE? Belarus
29However, this excellent result is covers mainly local news, classifieddecreasing year on year in favor of advertising as well as cultural andGoogle. Therefore, Yandex must hurry. entertainment information. In March 2010 it attracted almost 80,000 realApart from onliner.by and naviny.by, users with a reach of 3%.the sector of internet portals inBelarus also includes sites such asopen.by (the oldest Belarusian portalrun by the Open Group, the owner ofthe largest Belarusian e-commerceplatform, shop.by) and interfax.by(a news portal of the well-knowninformation agency). Another Russianportal, rambler.ru, also has a relativelystrong market position. The rankingof top portals measured in thegemiusAudience study is proppedup by myminsk.com, a small websitefor Minsk citizens. This city portal 1.4. SOCIAL NETWORKSThe social networking sector in horizontal portal (my.mail.ru), attractsBelarus does not differ from other more Belarusian internet users thanparts of online market in this country the most popular social networkingin terms of the major players. Like the platform in the world, Facebook,whole online area, foreign services which is the top global player on thisalso visibly dominate here. The leaders developing online market. Despite theare, of course, Russian. Based on the worldwide popularity of services suchreliable estimates, the most popular as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, atsocial networking website in Belarus present they do not have any chanceis vkontakte.ru and second place to compete with the Russian brands.is held by another Russian service, However, they successfully competeodnoklassniki.ru. In turn, the third with Belarusian community websites,major player on the Belarusian social such as i.tut.by (the online communitynetworking market is livejournal.com, run by tut.by portal) and vceti.by.the blogging platform owned by At this point in time, only oneLiveJournal, Inc., but licensed and Russian online community service,operating in Russia by SUP, a media habrahabr.ru is less popular thancompany founded in Moscow in 2006 these two sites.by Andrew Paulson and AlexanderMamut. Its ownership is split betweenMamut, the Kommersant PublishingHouse and the management.Apart from these three socialnetworking websites, another servicefrom Russia is also found on theBelarusian market. The community-based subservice of the mail.ru Do you CEE? Belarus
30 1.5. ONLINE CLASSIFIED ADS BY REACH NUMBER OF REAL PAGE VIEWS PER AVERAGE TIME PER REACH USERS USER USER 1 irr.by 226 648 67 00:51:12 7% 2 slanet.by 71 350 9 00:06:43 2% 3 migom.by 65 902 13 00:11:29 2% Table 4 Top 3 online classified ads in Belarus by reach level (gemiusAudience, March 2010)Classified advertising seems to be onliner.by, which on its site runsa perfect activity for local players a section devoted to this kind ofin Belarus. Among the three most advertising, catalog.onliner.by. Thepopular websites of this kind there are Belarusian online market is alsono Russian or global sites. According filled with well performing thematicto the gemiusAudience study results classified advertising services. Thefor March 2010, the leading classified best example of this is kosht.com,advertising service is irr.by, which is which aggregates computer hardwarealso generally one of the most popular announcements. According towebsites in Belarus (it takes fourth gemiusAudience, it attracted almostplace in the ranking of top 10 websites 68,000 real users in March 2010by reach). Second and third place, gaining slightly more than 2% reach.taken by slanet.by and migrom.by,gained over 71,000 and almost 66,000users, respectively during the sameperiod, which gave them identicalreach levels of 2%.It is worth noting that a significant partof the internet classified advertisingmarket belongs to the second mostpopular horizontal portal in Belarus, 1.6. TOP FINANCE SITES BY REACH NUMBER OF REAL PAGE VIEWS PER AVERAGE TIME PER REACH USERS USER USER 1 afn.by 60 634 21 00:35:14 2% 2 ej.by 30 651 9 00:13:05 1% 3 belmarket.by 12 926 6 00:07:06 0,4% Table 5 Top 3 finance sites in Belarus by reach level (gemiusAudience, March 2010)Do you CEE? Belarus
31The area of finance seems to be belmarket.by attracted just underan unfilled niche on the Belarusian 13,000 real users, which gave it lessinternet. Apart from the journalistic than 0.5% market reach.activity of rbc.ru, which holdsa strong position on the market, Another interesting website inthe popularity of websites devoted Belarus is rbcard.com; it is devotedto these topics is still very low. to banking and dedicated primarilyThe greatest one measured in the to individuals owning various kindsgemiusAudience study, afn.by, gained of payment and credit cards. RBCARDa reach of barely 2% in March 2010, was established in 2002, but duringhowever, at the same time its users the last eight years did not managewere active for an average of over to gain any significant popularity.35 minutes. AFN (АФН) has been According to the results of theoperating on the information market gemiusAudience study, in March 2010since 1995 providing financial news it attracted slightly more than 7,000regarding the Belarusian, Russian and real users and kept them active for anUkrainian economy. average of 4 minutes. However, there are also much more successful andThe second most popular financial better performing financial serviceswebsite participating in the on the Belarusian online market,gemiusAudience study in Belarus namely infobank.by and select.by,is ej.by, which in March 2010 both operating since 2007.gained only a reach of 1%. Ej.by(Ежедневник) basically operates asan internet-based economic magazine(available in PDF) and extendedeconomic news service. Its creatorsclaim that it is the first e-press projectin Belarus and is a response to thehuge gap in the market.Among the finance websitesparticipating in the gemiusAudiencestudy in Belarus there is yetanother player worth mentioning:belmarket.by, an online version of theeconomic newspaper „Belarusiansand the Market” (“Белорусы ирынок”), formerly “BelarusianMarket” (“Белорусский рынок”),established in 1990. This weeklymagazine is considered the firstindependent newspaper in Belarus,which started to deal with complexeconomic analyses, problems in thecountry, new businesses. It promotesdemocratic institutions within society.According to the gemiusAudiencestudy results, in March 2010 Do you CEE? Belarus
32 2. ONLINE AUDIENCE As on most other CEE markets, the academic environment, fromthe gender structure of the online students with incomplete higherpopulation of Belarus is also education to individuals with sciencevery balanced. According to the degrees (together making up 46%gemiusAudience study for March 2010 of the total). The least representedalmost 51% of internet users are men group of internet users in Belarusand just over 49% of the whole online are individuals with an MBA degree,population are women. Internet use making up only 0.34% of the wholein Belarus remains equally distributed online population.among both genders and no significantfluctuations within this area are being The largest group of Belarusianobserved. internet users (exactly 38.3%) live in the Minsky region. The high density Internet users in Belarus of users in this region is due to theare very young. According to the fact that in Belarus the majority ofgemiusAudience study for March people who are active on the internet2010, almost 40% are aged between live in the capital city (as with other15 and 24 years. Moreover, almost young and underdeveloped markets).68% of the whole online population According to the gemiusAudienceconsists of individuals younger than study for March 2010, almost 33%34 years old. On the other hand, of the whole online population ofusers aged 55 years or over represent this country consists of individualsonly 1.6% of the all internet users. who live in Minsk. Individuals fromThis visible disproportion is caused other regions of Belarus representmainly by the immaturity of the a proportionally smaller share withinBelarusian online market, which is not the internet user population, that isyet experiencing the phenomenon of from 16% in the case of Gomelskyaging (along with its users). It is highly region to a mere 9% in the case ofprobable that in the near future the Mogilevsky region.share of individuals older than 45 and55 years will rise year on year. Three biggest groups of Belarusian online population are The educational structure of students, specialist/chief specialistsBelarusian internet users does and engineers/technical workers. Theynot differ a great deal from those constitute nearly 50% of internet userscharacteristic of other CEE markets. in this country. The other half consistsWithin the whole online population of other occupations with almostof this country there are three major equal shares.groups of users: individuals with ahigh education (32%), vocationaleducation (26%) and those who havegraduated from a secondary school(22%). However, when broadercategories are taken into account, itbecomes very clear that the dominantgroup of internet users in Belarusconsists of people connected withDo you CEE? Belarus
34 3. TOOLS 3.1. BROWSERSChart 1 Top browsers in Belarus by share of page views generated by internet users who visit theBelarussian websites using gemiusTraffic (gemiusTraffic study 1Q 2009 – 1Q 2010)3.1. Browsers the market at the end of first quarter of 2009, when it beat off its rival -The web browser most intensively Mozilla Firefox. The third force on theused in Belarus is Opera. According market is Microsoft Internet Explorer.to gemiusTraffic, in the first quarter In the first quarter of 2010 its usersof 2010 almost 49% of all page views were responsible for 19.4% of all pagegenerated by Belarusian users on views recorded in the gemiusTrafficwebsites monitored in the study have study.been made using this browser. In thisregard the Belarusian online market 3.2. Operating systemsis similar to Ukraine, where Opera isalso the dominant software used for Internet users in Belarus are not anweb browsing. In Belarus, Opera won exception when it comes to the usage 3.2. OPERATING SYSTEMSChart 2 Top operating systems in Belarus by share of page views generated by internet users whovisit the Belarussian websites using gemiusTraffic (gemiusTraffic study 1Q 2009 – 1Q 2010)Do you CEE? Belarus
35of operating systems. Windows XPhead the list and the whole market 3.3. SEARCH ENGINESis dominated by Microsoft products(non-MS Windows operating systemshold less than a 3% share). Accordingto the gemiusTraffic study, in the firstquarter of 2010, Windows XP wasresponsible for almost 83% of all pageviews monitored in the study, whilethe second most intensively usedoperating system, Windows 7, wasresponsible for slightly more than 10%of all page views. Interestingly, thelatter is experiencing dynamic growth Chart 3 Top search engines in Belarus by share of visits made by internet users who visit the Belarus-on the Belarusian market. At the sian websites using gemiusTraffic (gemiusTraffic study 1Q 2009 – 1Q 2010)beginning of 2009 it was completelyabsent in Belarus, in the second 3.4. SCREEN RESOLUTIONSquarter of 2009 it gained 0.67% of allpage views and by the first quarter of2010 its market share had increasedmore than 15 times.3.3. Search enginesThe search engine most frequentlyused in Belarus is Russian-basedYandex. According to gemiusTraffic, infirst quarter of 2010 more than 56%of all visits on websites monitored Chart 4 Screen resolutions in Belarus by share of page views generated by internet users who visitby Gemius in this study have their the Belarussian websites using gemiusTraffic (gemiusTraffic study 1Q 2009 – 1Q 2010)origins in Yandex search results.The second search engine mostfrequently used by Belarusians is 3.5. MOBILE DEVICESGoogle, which accounts for morethan 41% of all visits on websitesmonitored by gemiusTraffic. Otherengines, including Microsoft MSN,have a negligible market share andare single-handedly unable to breakthe 1% barrier.3.4. Screen resolutionsThe most popular screen resolutionin Belarus is 1280x1024, the visitorsof which generated nearly 28% of allpage views on websites monitored Chart 5 Top 5 mobile devices in Belarus by the website-averaged percentage share of page viewsin the gemiusTraffic study in the generated by internet users form Belarus who visit the Belarusian websites using gemiusTraffic (gemiusTraffic, 10.05.2010 - 25.07.2010, weighted average for months) *from 2010-05-10first quarter of 2010. What is most **to 2010-07-25 Do you CEE? Belarus
36important is the fact that at the the average Belarusian website usingbeginning of 2010 there was no gemiusTraffic. The other devices inscreen resolution which could be the top 5 ranking were SonyEricssonidentified as strongly dominant on the products and each gained around aBelarusian market (the shares of the 3% share.most popular ones are distributed in avery balanced manner).3.5. Mobile devices - modelsUnlike the majority of CEE countrieswhere the iPhone dominates themobile devices market, accordingto the gemiusTraffic study, the mostpopular mobile tool used to accessthe web in Belarus is Nokia 6300. InJuly 2010 it was responsible for 8%of page views generated by mobiledevices on the average website.Apple’s iPod had a 5% share whichgave it second place in the ranking.However, the popularity of bothmarket leaders is gradually decreasingand over two months both productslost approximately 1 percentagepoint. The third most popular mobiledevice was Nokia 5800. Its usersgenerated 4% of the mobile traffic on 4. ADVERTISING NETWORKS GENERAL CONTACT INFORMATION FULL NAME HOMEPAGE URL REACH MAIN OFFICE CONTACT ADDRESS ADDRESS Phone: +375-17-222-3204 416-14, 1 Mediacode mediacode.by 24% Fax: +375-17-222-3204 Pervomaiskaya Street, Minsk Email: email@example.com Phone: +375-17-217-02-42 109 - 24/2 2 Red red.by N/A Fax: +375-17-217-02-42 Pervomaiskaya Street Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +375-17-296-62-62 214-5. 3 Webody webody.by N/A Fax: +375-17-296-62-62 Oktaybrskaya Street, Minsk Email: email@example.comDo you CEE? Belarus
37 5. OPINIONS FROM THE MARKETAleksander StelmakhDirector, Onliner.byOnline advertising marketWhat are the opportunities and obstacles for the Belarusian onlineadvertising market?The online market is still extremely small; worth only about $3 million in2009. Moreover, rapid growth is not expected in 2010. This is partly due tothe tardiness of the whole advertising market (including TV, radio „Outdoor”advertising amongst others) compared to, for example, the Ukrainianmarket, even if the discrepancy in population sizes is taken into account.Advertising is a sign of activity in the economy. In Belarus most companiesdepend on the government in some form or another, which (with a fewexceptions) promotes products and services using „kuplyay Belarusian”methods (national products don’t need advertisement). However, theadvertising market is still at a low level and no changes in the short term areexpected.In addition, we should not have any illusions about the purchasing powerof the population even in the capital, Minsk. The average household hereoperates with a budget of approximately $673 (2 million BYR) per month.The main problem of the local market is a fixation on media advertising.Banners, which are sold daily, are at the level of the past decade andpublishers forget that there are more efficient ways to direct monetizationthan banners.The market faces many difficulties and not all of them are related directly tothe online sphere.Global vs. local playersAre the local players present on your local market strong enough to competewith the global giants? What advantages and strategies do they use in thisbattle?The local players do not have much chance to compete unless they providethe services that are truly demanded. One well-known site in Belarusformerly positioned as a search portal with a mail service and varioussubsites, also became popular as a content aggregator, gathering newsfrom other services. The portal then tried to create their own content, but Do you CEE? Belarus
38its quality was low, even when compared to Belarusian counterparts. Theservice has lost users in favour of Russian sites like vkontakte.ru and mail.ru.This could lead to greater losses in user numbers unless the portal changesits development strategy.Yury ZisserFounder and co-owner, Tut.byOnline advertising marketWhat are the opportunities and obstacles for the Belarusian onlineadvertising market?Share of internet advertising in total advertising is growing each year. In thecrisis period this share rose from 4.5% in 2008 to a surprising 7% in 2009(the entire media market fell by 21.4% while the internet grew by 16%).Another serious obstacle to dynamic growth is the modest size of the privatesector, the lack of small- and medium-sized businesses.Dominating trendsWhat are the recent trends on your local online market? What areas areexpected to develop most in the future?In 2009 a new trend appeared on the market: the transfer of ads salesto specialized structures, sales houses which form a professional marketusing clear rules. Position of sales houses will strengthen in the future.Market will grow, technology will improve. Role of mobile, contextual andvideo advertising and advertising with possibility of targeting using socio-demographic profiles will grow.Global vs. local playersAre the local players present on your local market strong enough to competewith the global giants? What advantages and strategies do they use in thisbattle?Successful local players use brand strategy to create powerful local brands.The lion’s share of advertising sales is held by Belarusian players. All theefforts of foreign players, mostly Russian, have not as yet beensuccessful. Global brand expansion in Belarus has not happened and will notcome soon due to the small capacity of the Belarusian market.Do you CEE? Belarus
39Market specificsWhat makes your local online market unique? Are there any specifics thatmake it different from others in the CEE region?Due to the above mentioned weakness of small- and medium-sized business,search advertising is not well developed in Belarus. Its share in Belarusianinternet advertising does not exceed 20% and over the last years there hasbeen slow increase. There is a concentration of advertising budgets aroundthe main players: the Belarusian portal tut.by which accounts for one thirdof all the budgets of banner advertising or about half the budgets of allmedia advertising on the Belarusian internet. Do you CEE? Belarus
42The second significant group within sports events as well as the Sportalthe Bulgarian online market includes TV service with a large amount ofspecific portals such as bg-mamma. HD videos. In March 2009 its reachcom and sportal.bg. The first is mainly level amounted to 11% but in Marchdedicated to women and contains 2010 this grew to 20%. Its risinga great deal of useful information popularity makes it a preferable siterelated to children, health, beauty for advertisers.and lifestyle. The strongest part of thesite is its forum, where women can Another popular site on theexchange views and ask other users Bulgarian online market in Marchfor their opinion. In March 2010, the 2010 was mobile.bg, a classified adswebsite had almost 660,000 real users service specializing in automotiveand the number is growing. advertisements. It had almost 670,000 real users, who constituted a reachThe second website, sportal.bg, is level of 20%. In terms of averagea portal containing sports news, time spent per user, mobile.bg, cameespecially popular among the male second among the top 10 websites byonline audience. The site offers reach level with almost 2 hoursdetailed information about different a month spent per user. 1.2. TOP 10 WEBSITES BY AVERAGE TIME SPENT PER USER NUMBER OF PAGE VIEWS PER AVERAGE TIME REACH REAL USERS USER PER USER 1 ladypopular.bg 132 271 602 07:13:40 4% 2 aha.bg 374 559 1,005 07:03:59 11% 3 impulse.bg 598 852 483 07:03:56 18% 4 prodavalnik.com 47 095 239 04:40:30 1% 5 forum.levski.com 5 289 259 04:10:04 0.2% 6 focus-news.net 224 209 81 03:29:48 7% 7 conquiztador.bg 68 653 472 03:17:56 2% 8 abv.bg 1 954 947 171 02:34:07 60% 9 mobile.bg 669 052 223 01:57:50 20% 10 novsport.com 111 604 47 01:52:04 3% Table 2 Top 10 websites in Bulgaria by average time spent per user (gemiusAudience, March 2010)Three major groups can be average user spent more than 7 hoursdistinguished in the ranking of top in March 2010.10 websites by average time spentper user. The first one includes Like in other CEE online markets,ladypopular.bg, aha.bg and impulse. people in Bulgaria tend to spend mostbg. These are sites on which the of their online time making friendsDo you CEE? Bulgaria
43and having fun. Ladypopular.bg is The last player in this group isan online game for girls who dream of conquiztador.bg, with a result ofbecoming popular. Users create 3 hours 18 minutes spent on averagea ‘lady’, follow her career, take care on this website by users. It is an onlineof her pet and organize virtual garden game, where users have to answerparties. The game has a pleasant questions to conquer new territoriesdesign and is available after free on a virtual map.registration. Moreover, the site isavailable in 25 languages. The other The last group of sites includes onestwo sites with an average time per with an average time spent online peruser of over 7 hours, aha.bg and user of around 2 hours. One of them isimpulse.bg, are social networking sites mobile.bg, the previously-mentionedwith reach levels of 11% and 18%. automotive classified ads website, which is very popular in Bulgaria.The second group consists of siteswith average online time per user of Abv.bg, the market leader in terms3-5 hours a month. Prodavalnik.com is of reach, does not dominate as faran online auction mainly for women, as the average time spent per user iswith a great deal of information about concerned and ranks 8th with a resultbabies, gardening, home and family. of just over 2.5 hours. This is mainlyMoreover, there are direct links to due to the fact that abv.bg is primarilyother websites with the same theme: a mail service.clothes, baby toys, etc. In March 2010this site had on average 239 page The last website is a sport site:views generated by each of the more novsport.com. It presents newsthan 47,000 real users. concerning sports events, teams and players. Moreover, it keeps statistics ofThe next website in this group is forum match results, covers live games andlevski.com. Although in March 2010 its contains many helpful links for sportsreach level amounted to only 0.2%, fans.it ranked fifth in the ranking presentedabove, with 4 hours and 10 minutesspent by the average user. It is aforum for FC Levski supporters, wherethey can exchange views, meet otherfans and be up-to-date with newsconcerning their favorite footballteam.A news service can also be foundin this group: focus-news.net. It isa part of the first Bulgarian privateinformation agency FOCUS. One of thegreatest advantages of focus-news.netis the fact that it offers news, analysisand comments not only in Bulgarianbut also in English 24 hours a day. InMarch 2010 its reach level amountedto 7%. Do you CEE? Bulgaria
44 1.3. TOP PORTALS NUMBER OF REAL PAGE VIEWS PER AVERAGE TIME PER REACH USERS USER USER 1 dir.bg 1 340 402 67 01:18:54 41% 2 gbg.bg 945 424 16 00:25:48 29% 3 start.bg 893 066 8 00:09:41 27% 4 btv.bg 777 131 26 00:21:54 24% 5 vesti.bg 745 950 20 00:29:02 23% Table 3 Top 5 portals and news services in Bulgaria by reach level (gemiusAudience, March 2010)The importance of horizontal portals 14 websites including blog.bg,and news services in Bulgaria can be dnes.bg and snimka.bg. In 2004 itdemonstrated by the fact that the five was listed on the Bulgarian Stockmost popular ones were also included Exchange and is said to have a marketin the top 10 websites by reach. share of almost 10%. Start.bg has links classified into 22 categories andIn March 2010, the leading position approximately 1,900 topics, whichbelonged to dir.bg, which is just like enables its users to search for anythe year before. It is seen as information they may need. In Marcha trustworthy portal containing 2010 its reach level amounted to 27%a variety of information and catering (in March 2009 it was 32%).for the needs of visitors in termsof entertainment, discussion Btv.bg is a website run by theforums, classifieds; it also includes most popular private TV stationcommunication tools. in Bulgaria. On the 1st June 2000 bTV broadcasted for the first timeAccording to the gemiusAudience thus breaking the monopoly of thestudy, gbg.bg ranked second with national public TV station. Overa reach level of 29%. This portal was the years it has established itscreated in 1997 and since that time position as the most watched TVhas been offering a wide range of channel in Bulgaria. According to theoptions enabling its users to search gemiusAudience study, its reach levelfor online content. Moreover, it has amounted to 24% in March 2010a huge bank of images and videos giving it the third place in the top 5and its directory contains over 47,000 portals ranking. bTV has been presentselected sites. on the market for almost two years. In February 2010 an agreement forThe 3rd player in this category is its sale was reached. It was bought bystart.bg, a horizontal portal and the Central European Media Enterpriseslargest online catalog, owned by (CME), one of the leading radio andInvestor.BG AD, a leading internet television groups in Central andmedia company in Bulgaria with Eastern Europe.Do you CEE? Bulgaria
45The last place in the ranking istaken by vesti.bg, formerly knownas Netinfo.bg, which in March 2010had a reach level of 23%. The siteprovides its users with current newsfrom Bulgaria and the world. Thanksto a modern and user-friendly design,visitors can quickly find everythingthey are searching for. Moreover, thesite offers a section with the mostpopular news for busy users. 1.4. SOCIAL NETWORKS NUMBER OF PAGE VIEWS AVERAGE TIME REACH REAL USERS PER USER PER USER 1 impulse.bg 598 852 483 07:03:56 18% 2 dir.bg-CLUBS.dir.bg 493 509 15 00:10:59 15% 3 dir.bg-GLOG.dir.bg 420 138 15 00:10:32 13% 4 teenproblem.net 404 388 17 00:15:45 12% 5 aha.bg 374 559 1,005 07:03:59 11% Table 4 Top 5 social networking sites in Bulgaria by reach level (gemiusAudience, March 2010)There is no dominant leader on the Clubs.dir.bg and glog.dir.bg bothlocal social networking market in belong to dir.bg. The first includesBulgaria. Although in March 2010 clubs, in which people with the sameimpulse.bg had the greatest reach interests are grouped together. Inlevel (18%), it was only 3 percentage March 2010, clubs.dir.bg had almostpoints higher than clubs.dir.bg, 500,000 real users who spent anwhich ranked second. However, as average of 11 minutes online a month.mentioned before, impulse.bg is Glog.dir.bg enables its users to createundoubtedly the leader when it comes their own profile and use it to stay into number of page views per user. touch with friends or make new ones.In terms of average time per user Its reach level of 13% gave this socialit took second position, right after networking site 3rd place in the top 5aha.bg. Impulse.bg is a typical social ranking.networking site offering its usersthe possibility to make new friends The last two most popular Bulgarianor retain old ones. It also includes social networks, measured in thea section devoted to classified ads, gemiusAudience study in Marchclubs with users grouped together by 2010 were teenproblem.net (12%)interest with access to almost 60,000 and aha.bg (11%). They both belongtopics as well as a games section. to Investor Group (start.bg, blog.bg, Do you CEE? Bulgaria
46etc.). Teenproblem.net is popular with gives its users a chance to meet newyoung people. On the website they people, exchange messages, create listcan find answers to their questions of friends and watch music videos.and problems, including someembarrassing ones, as well as generalinfo about anything that can be of anyinterest to a teenager. The site is veryuser-friendly and is designed to attractyoung online audience.The second site, aha.bg, has a morediversified user structure with usersaged 19-35 predominating. Thispopular social networking website 1.5. ONLINE CLASSIFIED ADS BY REACH NUMBER OF REAL PAGE VIEWS PER AVERAGE TIME PER REACH USERS USER USER 1 mobile.bg 669 052 223 01:57:50 20% 2 imot.bg 219 376 104 01:12:24 7% 3 karieri.bg 202 899 6 00:06:35 6% Table 5 Top 3 online classified ads in Bulgaria by reach level (gemiusAudience, March 2010)Each of the top 3 online classified ads The third place belonged to karieri.bg.in Bulgaria specializes in a different It had over 200,000 real usersfield. Number one in March 2010 interested in job offers. Beside regularwith a reach level of 20% was job advertisements, there are alsomobile.bg. It is the most popular offers of training sessions, educationalBulgarian site where people can buy courses and the like.or sell a car. The site also containsmany other automotiveadvertisements of different kinds,from VIP to regular. The price is relatedto the ad’s type.The second player on the Bulgarianclassified ads market is imot.bg, whosereach level amounted to 7%. Users anddealers publish ads related to buyingand selling real estate. Like other sitesof this kind, there are various kindsof advertisements and their pricesdepend on what options are used.Do you CEE? Bulgaria
47 1.6. TOP FINANCE SITES BY REACH NUMBER OF REAL PAGE VIEWS PER AVERAGE TIME PER REACH USERS USER USER 1 econ.bg 304 865 16 00:03:54 9% 2 odit.info 256 078 20 00:24:55 8% 3 investor.bg 214 850 24 00:39:36 7% Table 6 Top 3 finance sites in Bulgaria by reach level (gemiusAudience, March 2010)According to the gemiusAudience and on average 20 page views perstudy from March 2010, there visitor. It is a popular website ownedwas no definite leader among finance by Economedia, which publishes thesites in Bulgaria. Although the reach most current information especiallylevel of econ.bg gave it first place, for accountants. There is a sectionthe difference between it and the with notices on courses and seminarsreach levels of odit.info (2nd) and as well as a forum.investor.bg (3rd) was just 1 percentagepoint. In terms of average time spent Another important finance site inonline per user, the leader is investor.bg Bulgaria was investor.bg with a reachwith almost 40 minutes a month per level of 7% in March 2010. It is auser. site with business information from Bulgaria and the world. Apart fromEcon.bg is a business portal with typical financial sections such asover 300,000 real users. The site was Exchange or Forex, it also has a sectioncreated through the cooperation of dedicated to lifestyle.the Center for Economic Development(CED) and the United States Agencyfor International Development (USAID)and was launched in April 2001. Apartfrom presenting business news fromBulgaria and the world, its userscan also find interviews, analyses,classified ads and a law section here.An additional feature is the Englishversion of the site. Even though itcontains information which is often2 months old, it is a useful source ofinformation for English-speaking users,especially considering the fact thatecon.bg gives its users free access toan archive of all information uploadedon the site since its creation in 2001.The second significant player, odit.info,had over 250,000 users in March 2010 Do you CEE? Bulgaria
48 2. ONLINE AUDIENCE The gender structure of the 2010, 27% of the Bulgarian onlineBulgarian internet population is quite population lived in Sofia, the capitalbalanced and does not differ much of Bulgaria. Cumulatively, users livingfrom those observed on other CEE in cities with over 100,000 citizensmarkets. In March 2010, women accounted for 60% of the onlineconstituted 51.5% of the online population. Another significant grouppopulation, while men comprised of users (19%) lived in cities, in which48.5%. However, what distinguishes there are 20,000 – 99,999 people.the Bulgarian online population fromother CEE countries is the fact that With regards to occupationmen on average spent one hour more the most numerous group amongthan women surfing the web. Bulgarian internet users in March 2010 were specialists and office workers. Undoubtedly, the Bulgarian online The second force on the internet wasmarket is dominated by young people. the group made up of unemployedAccording to the gemiusAudience internet users. The unskilledstudy, in March 2010 people aged workers accounted only for 1% of15-24 accounted for 29% of the online the researched internet audience,population. Moreover, they spent however this occupation group wasthe greatest amount of time surfing the most active and in March 2010 thethe studied websites, i.e. 19 hours. average user from this group spentIncreasingly more elder people have over 19 hours surfing the web.become interested in the internetduring the last twelve months. InMarch 2009 the share of people over55 years old was 5%, and in March2010 it was 9%. The Bulgarian online population isquite well-educated. In March 2010 amere 1% of internet users had primaryor no education. The majority hadgraduated from secondary school and27% had a degree. With regards toaverage time spent online per user, inMarch 2010 the groups of users withbasic or lower education consistentlyspent approximately 21.5 and 18.5hours online, whereas users withhigher education spent only 10 hoursand 44 minutes online. As it is the case in the majorityof CEE countries, the greatestnumber of internet users in Bulgarialive in big cities. According to thegemiusAudience study from MarchDo you CEE? Bulgaria
50 3. TOOLS 3.1. BROWSERSChart 1 Top browsers in Bulgaria by share of page views generated by internet users who visit Bulga-rian websites using gemiusTraffic (gemiusTraffic study 3Q 2007 – 1Q 2010)3.1. Browsers the top browsers in Bulgaria. The popularity of Opera and Chrome isThere are two main players on the not of any significant value. However,Bulgarian browser market. Number it is important to note that Chrome isone is Firefox with a market share of gaining popularity extremely quickly.46%. At the end of 2009 it overtook Also, while Opera’s market share grewMicrosoft Internet Explorer, whose during the past year by 0.5 percentagepopularity has been declining for some point, Chrome’s market share rose bytime already. After the first quarter 4 percentage points.of 2010 its market share was 42%giving MSIE the second place among 3.2. OPERATING SYSTEMSChart 2 Top operating systems in Bulgaria by share of page views generated by internet users whovisit Bulgarian websites using gemiusTraffic (gemiusTraffic study 3Q 2007 – 1Q 2010)Do you CEE? Bulgaria
513.2. Operating systems 3.3. SEARCH ENGINESLike in the other markets in Centraland Eastern Europe, the most popularoperating system in Bulgaria wasWindows XP with an 82% share in thefirst quarter of 2010. However, this was9 percentage points less than a yearago. This is mainly due to Windows 7,Microsoft’s newest operating systemlaunched in the second quarter of2009. Since then it has been constantlygaining popularity, and in the firstquarter of 2010 its market shareaccounted for 9% overtaking Windows Chart 3 Top search engines in Bulgaria by share of visits made by internet users who visit BulgarianVista with its 8% share. The market websites using gemiusTraffic (gemiusTraffic study 3Q 2007 – 1Q 2010)share of Linux is relatively stable at thelevel of 0.3%. 3.4. SCREEN RESOLUTIONS3.3. Search enginesGoogle is the leader of the Bulgarianonline search engine market. In thefirst quarter of 2010 its share of themarket accounted for almost 99%.Second place belonged to MSN, andthird to Yahoo. However, their marketshares declined during 2009 andaccording to the gemiusTraffic studythey did not even exceed 1% in the firstquarter of 2010. Chart 4 Screen resolutions in Bulgaria by share of page views generated by internet users who visit Bulgarian websites using gemiusTraffic (gemiusTraffic study 3Q 2007 – 1Q 2010)3.4. Screen resolutionsThe market share of 1024 x 768 3.5. MOBILE DEVICESmonitor screen resolutions hasbeen decreasing over the last years.However, in the first quarter of 2010it was still the most popular choiceamong Bulgarians. Other popularscreen resolutions among internetusers who visit Bulgarian sites usinggemiusTraffic were 1280 x 1024 and1280 x 800. Also, the screen resolutionof 1440 x 900 has been gainingpopularity in recent years and after thefirst quarter of 2010 its market sharewas 6%. There is also a newcomer,1366 x 768, whose popularity has Chart 5 Mobile devices in Bulgaria by the website-averaged percentage share of page views genera-been growing and during one year this ted by internet users from Bulgaria, who visit Bulgarian websites using gemiusTraffic (gemiusTraffic,resolution gained a market share of 4%. 10.05.2010 - 25.07.2010, weighted average for months) *from 2010-05-10 **to 2010-07-25 Do you CEE? Bulgaria
523.5. Mobile devices - models popular. During the same period, Apple’s latest product, the iPad, hasA wide variety of mobile devices can been consistently gaining popularity,be found on the Bulgarian market. increasing its share by 3 percentageThe five most popular tools constitute points from May 2010.less than 50%. However, like inmajority of CEE markets, Bulgaria’stop mobile device is the iPhone,which in July 2010 had a share ofover 17%. However, compared to theprevious month, it decreased slightly.The next three positions were takenby Nokia devices among which theNokia 5530 XpressMusic is the most 4. BRANCH ORGANIZATIONSInteractive Association Bulgaria association is to protect the interests of its members with regard to thewww.iabulgaria.bg development of e-commerce and also to enhance public confidenceDescription: The mission of IAB in it. Moreover, BEAT aims to createis to show the advantages and professional ethical standards topossibilities of interactive marketing: be followed by its members. BEATtargeting, on-line measurement, also concentrates on cooperationhigh effectiveness, a great variety of with public authorities in creatingformats and different approaches laws and regulations relating toand to the internet as one of the internet trade and in monitoring theirmain channels of communication, implementation.next to TV, radio, press and outdooradvertising. Members: BGPRINTER Ltd., JAR Computers Ltd., Interminds Ltd., SILAMembers: The greatest rivals and BG, Store Ltd., SuperHosting.BG, Bwleading internet players include: Time Ltd.Darik News, Dir.bg, Economedia,Investor.bg, NetInfo.bg, mail.bg andan associate member, ABC Design and Bulgarian Web AssociationCommunication. www.bwa.bgBulgarian e-commerce association Description: The Bulgarian Web Association (BWA) is an internetwww.baet.bg industry association, representing the interests of web companies andDescription: The main objective professionals in Bulgaria. At present,of the Bulgarian e-commerce the Bulgarian Web AssociationDo you CEE? Bulgaria