Central regions | Finance, business

Russias first TV channel and VKontakte agree legalization of video content

26 Feb '15
VKontakte, Russias largest social network, has reached an agreement with Channel One, Russias first TV channel. Channel One will provide the rights to broadcast its programs and popular shows in exchange for a share of advertising revenues, reported East-West Digital News, the first international information company dedicated to Russian digital industries, citing the Russian business daily Kommersant.

This is yet another step in VKontaktes strategy to legalize its content and curb Internet piracy.

The agreement is for one year with an option for a possible extension. VKontakte will receive archival recordings of broadcasts, as well as new material immediately after it is broadcast. Illegally posted videos on the social network from Channel One will be replaced with licensed copies. The revenue share conditions under the agreement have not been disclosed.

We are pleased that an increasing number of rights holders, including major television channels, have licensed their content to VKontakte, and that they do not take the route of restrictions and content deletions. VKontakte has the biggest online video audience in the country, and we are ready to be reliable partners for channels, not rivals, says the First Deputy General Director of Mail.ru Group Dmitry Sergeev.

Earlier this year, Channel One reached an agreement for the removal of illegal versions of its content from the Internet with Group-IB. According to the cyber security company, just in the first half of 2014 pirated video from Channel One was viewed 6.24 billion times.

According to TNS Russia, the online audience of VKontakte amounted to 55.67 million Russians aged 12-64 years in December 2014, while the audience of the Channel One site totaled 7.38 million.

Gazprom-Media Digital, which sells video advertising on the Russian Internet, has estimated that at the end of 2014 this market reached 4.5 billion rubles, an increase of 50% over 2013. In 2015, the market for video advertising on the Internet will continue to grow despite the crisis, market participants believe. At the same time, the TV advertising market may decline by at least 25-30%.
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