YouTube in Russia: A driving force of Russia’s creative economy

Hosting over 37 million channels from across the globe, YouTube is a popular online platform in Russia, with an average monthly viewership of around 80 million in the country. It has been a large driving force of Russia’s creative economy, bringing significant benefits not just to individuals who consume content on the platform, but also to those who create content, such as individual YouTubers, media companies and other professional content creators.

AlphaBeta’s latest report (in collaboration with Google) finds that these benefits come in three key forms: creating new income opportunities for content creators, promoting access to international markets, and helping individuals learn digital skills and get access to international content:

  • By allowing content creators to monetize their content on the platform and earn income from other sources, YouTube provides a variety of income opportunities for content creators. For 18% of these individuals, creating content on YouTube forms a major source of their income.
  • YouTube also provides creators and creative entrepreneurs with access to international markets – this has not only allowed them to gain advertising incomes from overseas, but also enhanced the visibility of their brand globally. In fact, around 36% of these individuals say that YouTube has helped them build business relationships worldwide. In addition, over 60% of watch-time on content produced by YouTube channels in Russia come from overseas.
  • Through a large variety of tutorial videos shared on the platform, as well as through curated programs by YouTube, 42% of YouTube users say that the platform helps them in acquiring digital skills. At the same time, the platform provides viewers a wide range of videos by giving them access to international content.
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