Internet more popular than TV
Yandex, Russia's biggest search engine, saw more daily visitors last month than the number of any television channel's viewers, with a record 19 million visitors each day.
The Internet is emerging as an increasingly popular source of information in a news market dominated by state-run television. According to a study released by TNS Russia, as many as 19.1 million people consulted Yandex in April compared with 18.2 million for the state-controlled Channel One television station, BBC reports.
The e-mail service Mail.ru came in second place in the study with 17.5 million daily visitors, while the country's biggest social network Vk.com (VKontakte) took third, with 16.2 million users each day.
The gap between the total daily TV audience and the number of daily Internet users was also narrow: 31.4 million of those preferring TV compared with 30.5 million consuming information online.
Last year Yandex, often referred to as Russia’s Google, reported income of more than $7 billion and raised $1.4 billion in an initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange, RFERL reports.
At the same time Russia's Internet market still has plenty more room for expansion, with only about 40 percent of Russians describing themselves as regular Internet users. There is a wide gap in penetration, with only 35 percent of households across Russia having Internet access compared with about 95 percent of them having a TV.