Results of our studies


More than half of Russians watch YouTube; they mainly prefer music and videos related to culture and art.

MOSCOW, November 25, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) presents the data describing how Russians use the YouTube video hosting platform. 

YouTube audience portrait

Digitalization has deeply penetrated leisure activities of modern Russians. More and more Russians use various online resources and entertainment services. More than half of respondents (58%) use YouTube video hosting platform. A quarter of Russians use it almost every day (25%); and every fifth (19%) several times a week. Eight percent of Russians visit YouTube at least several times a month; 7% at least once every six months. Every fifth Russian does not use this platform (20%); this share is almost equal to the share of those who do not use the World Wide Web (22%).

Men tend to use YouTube more often (67%); one-third of them say they do it every day (33%). Frequent visitors are also younger Russians: those aged 18-24 (88%) and 25-34 (90%). Older generations are less likely to use YouTube, however half of those aged 35-44(73%) and those aged 45-59 (51%) use this platform. As to persons aged 60 and over, 25% of them use YouTube.



YouTube is also popular among metropolitan residents (70%) and people living in cities with 500-950 thousand inhabitants (67%). The shares of residents of small cities (100-500 thousand inhabitants) and those living in million cities are almost equal (61% and 60% respectively); the platform is less popular among people living in localities with less than 100 thousand inhabitants (58%). YouTube is least popular among rural area residents (47%); this might be due to country’s geographical specifics and low Internet penetration rate. Generally, those who do not use the Internet are mainly people living in rural area (31%).

What for do we use YouTube?

Russians tend to visit YouTube to watch videos (53%). Many respondents also like to click the “like” button (13%), subscribe to new channels (12%), share videos with users (7%), leave comments under the videos (6%). Only 2% of Russians upload videos on YouTube.



The group of Russians who use the video hosting platform can be divided into passive and active users. The former are those who watch videos and subscribe to different YouTube channels; the latter are those who are also interested in other activities on YouTube.



Thus, 43% of the YouTube audience can be considered as passive users, and 14% are active. The biggest shares of active users are represented by people aged 18-24 (24%) and, to a smaller extent, by the 25-34-year-old respondents (20%) who are more passive, despite being similarly interested in the platform. The difference might be due to different topics the users choose and different perception of the information by different generations. With the spread of the so-called “clip thinking” among young people, a survey conducted among the minors would probably point to their higher involvement. Distribution of active users geographically shows that their share is higher among inhabitants of the million cities (21%) or metropolitan areas (20%).

Most popular content

Most of YouTube users prefer watching music videos, movies, and videos related to culture and art (30%). Twenty-three percent of respondents like humor. Russians also choose videos about family, home and children (16%), sport and fitness (14%), public and social life (14%). The top ten favorite resources also involve videos about technologies (13%), travelling (13%), education (including foreign language studies) (12%), and health and beauty (10%).


Thus, despite its mainly entertaining content, the YouTube platform also attracts those Russians who are basically interested in “non-entertaining” content such as personal development and education.

Nationwide VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on October 30, 2019. The survey involved 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based and carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

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