The 3rd edition of the 'Do you CEE?' report – a joint effort from Gemius and IAB Europe - is now available.
2011 was an interesting year for the online market of Central and Eastern Europe. The total internet population of the region grew by 9.2% in comparison to 2010, which accounts to over 12M new web users! Expansion of the internet user base did not escape the marketers’ attention and consequently the overall volume of online adspends in CEE increased by over one third year-on-year.
Social, mobile, video and group shopping – for these internet industry segments 2011 brought most notable changes. Some of the CEE countries (Belarus, Latvia, Poland, Russia and Ukraine) were the battlefield witnessing a struggle between strong local social networking players and the international social media mogul – Facebook. Apart from that, the region's inhabitants got more drawn to the mobile internet and the use of smartphones and tablets. Last year also saw a boom on the e-commerce market, with honourable mention of collective shopping sites, which grew significantly across the region (Baltics, Hungary, Poland, Russia).
One of the crucial parts of the report specifically focuses on the market potential slumbering in the CEE countries and investigates the current state of the online environment across the region. In 2011 nearly 143.5M web users went online in this part of Europe and the internet population grew markedly in almost every country. The 2011 leaders in the number of internet users were: Russia, where 38.3% of the whole CEE online population lives, and Turkey with internet user base constituting nearly 16% of all users in the region.
Figure 1. Internet population in Central and Eastern Europe
(Source: Gemius, gemiusAudience, December 2009/2010/2011)
What is more, Russia is not only the biggest, but also one of the most dynamically expanding markets in CEE. The y-o-y growth of internet audience for this country in 2011 amounted to 11.7%, which placed Russia on the third position among the fastest growing countries in the region. Still, one of the least mature markets in CEE – Belarus and Ukraine – surpassed Russia in terms of the internet population growth dynamics. In December 2011 13.5M Ukrainians (19.1% y-o-y increase 2010-2011) and 4.1M Belarusians (20.2% y-o-y growth) were present online.
A brief glance at the internet penetration statistics across the Central and Eastern European countries shows that the gap between the old EU countries and the CEE markets is still large. Even in the most advanced CEE country – Estonia (76%) – the percentage of the country’s population present online is far lower than in the highly developed countries of Western Europe – the Netherlands (94%), Luxembourg and Sweden (91%) or Denmark (90%) (Eurostat, 2011). Still, the internet penetration across all CEE countries grew in 2011 in comparison to 2010, which proves that there is a huge potential for future development dormant in this region. In three CEE markets (Belarus, Romania and Ukraine) the y-o-y growth of internet penetration exceeded an impressive threshold of 20%.
As it has been mentioned, the expansion of the internet user base did not escape the marketers’ attention, and consequently the overall volume of online adspends increased in CEE by over 30% year-on-year. The regional leader, Russia, was again far ahead of the other markets in terms of the market value, noting at the same time the position of second fastest developing market in CEE. In 2011 more than 1.12B EUR was allocated to internet advertising in Russia. Other markets from this part of Europe with the highest volume of online adspends are: Poland (439M EUR), Turkey (360M EUR) and the Czech Republic (268.9M EUR). The most dynamically growing markets in the Central and Eastern Europe were in 2011, apart from Russia, Ukraine (58.5% y-o-y growth), Croatia (39.8%), Slovenia (31.1%) and Slovakia (29.9%).
The 3rd ‘Do you CEE?’ report provides much more detailed insights and a summary of the situation of the internet market and online advertising in 2011. The report is available for download in the electronic version at doyoucee.gemius.com.
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