Online Ad Spend Has Overtaken Print In Russia

Online ad spend in Russia grew 56 percent through 2011, surpassing print media to become the country’s second-largest advertising medium.

The UK reached that mark in 2010. Emarketer forecasts the U.S. will reach it in 2012.

In Russia, online ad spend is now just marginally bigger than in print, yet still three times less than TV, according to Russian Association of Communication Agencies (AKAR) figures. The RuNet’s 56 percent growth is the kind of growth rate seen in western markets four years ago, when internet adoption exploded before the downturn.

Emerging markets are now catching up, as broadband adoption soars amongst new middle classes, despite the ongoing economic turmoil around them. The internet accounts for 16 percent of ad spend in Russia.

The largest gains came from contextual ads, which attracted 63 percent more spending. Print saw the slowest gains, just seven percent, though the entire Russian advertising market grew by 21 percent through 2011.

Search leader Yandex, which heads Google (NSDQ: GOOG) on 60.8 percent share versus 25.5 percent, on Wednesday reported 2011 revenue grew 60 percent. More at Quintura. sold 56 percent more display ads in Q3 2011.