The Russian media market emerged only with the beginning of market reforms at the end of the 80s and the first half of the 90s of the previous century, and at once became one the most outstanding branches of the economy. Today, the Russian media market, in terms of volume, ranks third in Europe, and furthermore, demonstrates impressive dynamics. For one thing, in 2012 the total volume of the advertising market (without outdoor advertisements) was approximately 260 bln rubles, or USD 8.5 bln, distributed as follows:

  • Television — 143.2 bln rubles;
  • Internet — 56.3 bln rubles;
  • Print media — 41.2 bln rubles;
  • Radio — 14.6 bln rubles;
  • Other media — 4.9 bln rubles.

In 2013 the indicators grew, and for the first nine months (January — September) the total growth comprised 11.5% compared to the same period of 2012. The total result of three quarters was approximately 200 bln rubles, or almost USD 7 bln:

  • Television — 108 bln rubles;
  • Internet — 48.8 bln rubles;
  • Print media — 26.5 bln rubles;
  • Radio — 11 bln rubles;
  • Other media — 2.9 bln rubles.

As can be seen, Russia follows world trends, in which television is the unconditional leader, gradually giving way to the Internet. Other kinds of media assets are slowly becoming less attractive and are also moving to the Internet.

A specific feature of the Russian media market is the very strong influence of the state, both formally, represented by numerous regulations in this sphere, and informally, via media assets directly or indirectly owned by the state, and in terms of how it affects commercial mass media. Furthermore, the territorial concentration should be mentioned. Almost the entire television market is controlled by federal television channels, and local television companies are not in great demand among viewers. A similar situation is observed in other media branches, but domination by central media is less distinct. However, according to the aggregate turnover, all-Russian companies are leading in both the Internet and printed mass media.

In less than a quarter of a century, the Russian media market has worked its way up from an almost completely state-controlled market at the end of the 1980s, to the establishment of the first media empires in the 1990s, and again (to a great extent) to a prostate market in the 2000s. However, at present there are a number of media groups and separate, large media outlets in the Russian market that control the major segment of the market.

State participation in the media market is not limited to the task of a regulator or as an owner of a number of media companies. The state is one of the largest customers in the market (this is especially true regarding the movie market), and it also provides targeted support to media companies in the form of direct subsidies or grants for the creation of media content (television programs, series of articles and so forth) of social or cultural importance.

Main Participants in the Market

The All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company is a state media holding, the successor of the second channel of Soviet television. Its basic assets are:

  • The Russia-1 television channel (a multi-format television channel);
  • The Russia-2 television channel (a sports television channel);
  • The Russia K television channel (a cultural television channel);
  • The Vesti-24 television channel (a 24-hour news television channel);
  • The Carousel television channel (a television channel for kids);
  • The Sport television channel (a leased sports television channel);
  • The RTR Planet television channel (a satellite version of the Russia-1 television channel);
  • The Russian Radio radio station (a multi-format radio station);
  • The Mayak radio station (an entertainment and talk radio station);
  • The YFM radio station (a youth music radio station);
  • The Vesti FM radio station (an informational radio station);
  • The Culture radio station (a cultural radio station);
  • The web portal (a news web portal);
  • The web portal (a web portal for sports broadcasting);
  • Regional television and radio broadcasting companies in each entity of the Russian Federation.


Channel One is a state television company, the successor of the first channel of Soviet television. Assets:

  • The Channel One television channel (a multi-format television channel, the country’s most popular television channel);
  • The Channel One. Worldwide television channel (a television company broadcasting Channel One abroad).


The National Media Group is a private media holding without a distinct controlling shareholder. Basic assets:

  • The Channel Five television channel (a multi-format television channel that was the regional television channel for St. Petersburg for a long time);
  • The REN TV television channel (a multi-format television channel);
  • Twenty-five percent of the shares of the Channel One and STS Media television channels;
  • The Radio St. Petersburg radio station (a multi-format radio station);
  • The Izvestiya newspaper (a socio-political and business newspaper);
  • The Zhizn newspaper (a tabloid);
  • The Russian News Service radio station (a news radio station);
  • A great number of specialized print media and web portals.


Gazprom-Media Holding is a media holding owned by the Gazprom company (which in turn is owned by the state). Basic assets:

  • The NTV television channel (a multi-format television channel, a former news channel);
  • The TNT television channel (an entertainment television channel);
  • The NTV-Plus company (a satellite television system);
  • The Echo of Moscow radio station (a news and talk radio station);
  • The Comedy Radio radio station (a humour radio station);
  • The Relax FM radio station (a music radio station);
  • The City-FM radio station (a news radio station);
  • The Children’s Radio radio station (a radio station for kids);
  • The Seven Days publishing house (a series of news and entertainment print media);
  • RuTube video hosting.


ProfMedia Business Solutions is a private media holding owned by the Interros Group. Basic assets:

  • The TV3 television channel (an entertainment television channel);
  • The 2×2 channel (an animated television channel);
  • The Pyatnitsa! channel (an entertainment television channel);
  • The Rambler web portal (a search engine and media web portal);
  • The web portal (a news web portal);
  • The Central Partnership cinema company;
  • The Autoradio radio station (a music radio station oriented towards road users);
  • The NRJ radio station (a music radio station);
  • The Yumor FM radio station (a humour radio station);
  • The Afisha publishing house (a series of entertainment print media).


RBK is a private media holding owned by the Onexim Group. Basic assets:

  • The RBK-TV television channel (a business news channel);
  • The web portal (a business and news web portal);
  • The internet portal (an automotive web portal);
  • The RBK Daily newspaper (a daily business newspaper);
  • The CNews magazine and web portal (IT news);
  • The Salon-Press publishing house (interior design print media).


Kommersant is a private media holding owned by Alisher Usmanov. Basic assets:

  • The Kommersant newspaper (a daily business newspaper);
  • Dengimagazine (a magazine about business and finance);
  • Vlastmagazine (a socio-political magazine);
  • Autopilotmagazine (an automotive magazine);
  • Sekret Firmymagazine (a magazine about business);
  • The Kommersant FM radio station (an informational radio station).


STS Media is a private media holding owned by the Swiss company, Modern Times Group, and the National Media Group. Assets:

  • The STS television channel (an entertainment television channel);
  • The Domashny television channel (an entertainment television channel);
  • The Perets television channel (an entertainment television channel).

Separately, one should mention information agencies such as ITAR-TASS, RIA Novosti (which at present is being rearranged) and Interfax.


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