Quintura blog reports today that the Russian online ad market size has reached almost $1.4b in 2011. This represents a 56% jump YoY. These are fantastic numbers for the market. No wonder the country has produced two massive internet companies Yandex and Mail.ru, that have primarily ad-based revenues.
In comparison, the online ad market in Turkey is estimated to be around $400m in 2011 (The IAB figures for 2010 were 271m Euros). Furthermore, my personal estimate is that at least $250 of this is Google, which leaves a paltry $150m for any local company that is going after ad dollars.
This is a problem that impacts the ultimate quality of original Turkish content, which is monetized at lower rates than other geographies. It certainly explains the dearth of online content businesses that have reached any significant scale (the Nokta sites, Eksi Sozluk, Mackolik and SporX are the exceptions here). And finally, it points to a huge opportunity as one would expect this gap to close.
As one of our investment themes, we will be watching solutions that enable more effective monetization of content, beyond ad networks, and lean producers of high-quality content that can attract online ad dollars.