The user-generated online video market is still nascent in Russia but there is one online video community website that stands out.
RuTube, which was launched a year ago by a team inspired by Google’s acquisition of YouTube, became the number one independent online video community in Russia with 150 thousand daily users and more than 20 million video views per month. RuTube was developed by Usystems in the provincial city of Oriol and still financed by its private founders.
One key to RuTube’s success is in early release of API that allowed partner sites hosting videos on RuTube.ru and displaying them on the own sites. To attract early users. RuTube also started broadcasting some regional TV channels online as well as show football matches and special launch events live. The company recently began deploying its own backbone network in Moscow and other regional cities. RuTube plans to develop video blogging and affiliate relationships with online TV content producers.
RuTube faces major competition from Video@Mail.ru, a video community of the leading Russian free email service and portal Mail.ru with over 25 million monthly users. Video@Mail.ru, which hosts more than 2 million videos and has a monthly audience of 4 million users, also started signing up regular TV channels to broadcast their entertainment content in real time as well as display recent shows.
Back in summer, the Russian media speculated that Gazprom-Media negotiated an acquisition of RuTube but the deal never capitalized. Various estimates put spending on online in-video advertising in Russia at under $3 million in 2007 but it is expected to grow to $30 million in 2009. The online TV website with its own content TV Click that was recently launched also wants to grab a large share of this market.
See below the Alexa chart for RuTube.ru