“Do You CEE” the potential of the internet industry in Central and Eastern Europe?
The CEE online market grew in 2010, in terms of the number of internet users and advertising spending, despite the global economic crisis, which was still noticeable in many countries and other industries. Gemius, the internet research leader, in its latest edition of the “Do You CEE?” report, takes a closer look at the 15 European countries, where the online sector is attaining an increasingly significant position within advertising budgets and communication strategies. The industry overview proves that the largest internet markets are not necessarily the fastest developing ones and the highest level of internet penetration is a domain belonging to the smaller CEE countries.
During previous years, the CEE region’s online market had many interesting stories to tell. International giants, such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter or Yahoo entered the region, but the countries that lay east of Germany were not the promised land for all of them. Some companies managed to build strong brands and lure CEE clients to their global, innovative solutions, others failed, in the face of strong, local competition. If one was to name the key internet trends, 2010 in CEE would be a year marked by the growing importance of multimedia content, the invariable popularity of social networking websites and the battle of the web browsers. “Do You CEE?”, the overview of the market prepared by Gemius in cooperation with IAB Europe, brings all these internet insights and landmarks together in one comprehensive publication.
The report is dedicated to all those who would like to gain a deeper understanding of the region’s online communities, the needs and requirements of the market and the behaviour of CEE internet users. It provides unique knowledge for more effective e-business activities and online investment, and also indicates the main trends of internet usage pinpointing the competitive advantages of particular online players, helping to achieve business goals for media owners and agencies. As in 2009, this year’s report not only presents the digital landscape of the region but also characterises each of the CEE national markets and their main players. Besides the countries which were in the ‘spotlight’ last year: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine, the 2010 report is enhanced with information on Belarus and Turkey.
According to gemiusAudience results, 2010 brought an impressive number of over 40 million internet users in Russia, 22 million in Turkey and 15 million www ‘surfers’ in Poland (results from January 2010). Compared to the previous year, the CEE region together with Turkey (and without Belarus) attracted almost 9 million new internet users, which is more than the entire population of Slovakia.
Just a glance at the infographic prepared by the online communications agency, Carnation, as a teaser to the “Do You CEE?” report, helps us understand how different internet audiences in particular countries are. Whereas the fastest growing market, when it comes to the number of internet users, is Ukraine, with its 15% year-on-year increase, the smaller countries have had an overall higher internet penetration rate. For example, Estonia appears to be the undisputed leader of the whole region as at the beginning of 2010 the internet penetration in this country reached a level of 71%. Other Baltic countries are also at the forefront of this list: Latvia (65%) and Lithuania (57%), as well as Slovenia (62%) and the Czech Republic (58%).
The average internet penetration in a CEE country at the beginning of 2010 was 49%. The greatest improvement, besides Ukraine, can be seen in Belarus (9 percentage points), followed by Poland with 7 percentage points, whereas third position belongs to Latvia and the Czech Republic with 6 percentage points. Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia and Romania each had 5 percentage points.
As the internet is becoming increasingly more widespread in the whole region, not only youngsters, but elderly people use it more often. In March 2010 the 55+ age group was the highest within the online population in Estonia (15%), Hungary (13%), the Czech Republic and in Latvia (12%).
The report is available in electronic format on the website of the “Internet CEE” conference, organized by Gemius, which brings together industry professionals from the region. The publication will also be distributed in the major advertising agencies, media houses and marketers in Europe, both in electronic and print format by Gemius as well as the IAB network, representing over 5,000 companies in 30 countries.