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Kommersant: Tired of news and lacking other options, Russians are spending more time on YouTube

Source: Kommersant

According to data from the media research company Mediascope, Russians have been spending more time on YouTube in recent months. After analyzing the data, Kommersant reported that for the first six months of 2022, Russians spent about 84 minutes per day on the site on average. In July, however, the average daily watch time was 87 minutes, and in August, the number rose to 88 minutes.

Kommersant proposed three potential reasons for the increase:

  • News fatigue and a desire for escapism: Telecom Daily head Denis Kuskov noted that the increase in average watch time was not accompanied by an increase in viewers, suggesting that longtime viewers are simply spending more time on the site.
  • A lack of other content options: Because most Western movie studios pulled out of the Russian market after the start of the war, Russians have fewer new movies to go to and fewer options for streaming older content.
  • Less social media: With Instagram and Facebook blocked and TikTok restricted in Russia, users without VPNs are spending more of their Internet time on YouTube.

As The Bell noted in their Russian-language newsletter on Monday, because Russians are using YouTube primarily as an entertainment platform rather than as a means of protesting, it's unlikely the government will block the site anytime soon. Russia’s federal watchdog, Roskomnadzor, has continued issuing fines against Google's local subsidiary for failing to delete banned content on YouTube, but the company, which filed bankruptcy in Russia this summer, is unlikely to pay up.

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