The expenses of companies for promotion in domestic media reached record levels, the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia (ACAR) reported: in 2016 the advertising market grew by 11% to 360 billion rubles. This is more than even before the crisis, in 2014, when the volume amounted to 340 billion rubles. In 2015, the market declined by 10%.
Typically, the advertising market works as a derivative of the overall economy, following macroeconomic trends, notes the chairman of the research committee of the ACAR Sergey Veselov, but last year, despite the ongoing crisis, advertisers' expenses increased. Two years ago, advertisers reduced budgets faster than consumption declined, and by the end of last year they became less conservative, he notes. Veselov explains these changes in the behavior of advertisers with the merits of the new united seller of TV advertising - the National Advertising Alliance (NRA). Since autumn of 2016, it has pursued an aggressive policy of attracting budgets on air, Veselov, who himself is an employee of the NRA, points out. As a result, the market for television advertising grew by "fantastic" 10% to 151 billion rubles, although even in the summer experts expected a maximum of 7%.
The NRA was created by four largest television holdings: First Channel, VGTRK, Gazprom Media and National Media Group (NMG). The seller controls almost the entire national market of TV advertising. At the end of last year, the NRA announced an increase in the cost of placement on air by 15% from 2017. Many advertising agencies and advertisers called such a rise in price inadequate.
At the end of 2016, television remained the largest media in Russia, but its gap from the Internet, as well as in the first three quarters of 2016, is less than 10%. In a separate fourth quarter, advertisers could spend more in the Russian sector of the Internet than on the air, but it is impossible to draw an unambiguous conclusion about this from the figures of ACAR. Previously, the association reported that in the first nine months of 2016, advertisers spent 83 billion rubles on the network, a published estimate for the year as a whole was 136 billion rubles. It turns out that in Q4 the network advertisers spent 53 billion rubles against 48 billion rubles in the air. But to evaluate the data for the year, ACAR used a new methodology for calculating Internet budgets, the association said yesterday. The application of the new methodology has long been insisted on by Internet companies: last autumn, together with the IAB Russia association, they even presented alternative figures on the Internet market for the nine months of 2016, from which it followed that RuNet is already the largest media in the country. As the methodology has changed, it is incorrect to compare ACAR figures on the Internet for nine months and a year, two people from the association say. To get the correct dynamics for the year as a whole, ACAR revised the estimate of the Internet market for 2015 - it turned out that online budgets in 2016 grew by 21%. АCАР could not provide separate figures for Q4.
As the coordinator of the Internet group of the association Alexey Belyaev noted, the Internet experts of ACAR estimated, but did not include in the results of the year, the revenues of the Internet classifiders by 25 billion rubles. These are the services for the placement of ads: Avito, "Avto.ru", "Yandeks.Nedvizhimost", "Yula" (part of the Mail.ru Group). If you use these data, it turns out that RuNet exceeded the budgets of TV channels in 2016. The general director of "YandexVertikalei" (combines classifieds of the company) Anton Zabanykh says that 25 billion rubles is "too optimistic", but he's sure that in the coming years the market will grow several times. So, the revenue of Yandex.Vertikali increased by 1.5 times for the year, he noted.
Even if RuNet has not yet bypassed the TV in advertising revenues, it could happen in the first quarter of 2017, indicate three experts of ACAR: the Internet advertising market is growing faster than the TV market.