(English) Russian government aims to monitor Internet traffic and advertising flows

06 сентября 2019

(English) The Russian authorities are discussing the creation of a state-run Internet traffic monitoring system that would determine precisely the viewership of web content and online advertising.

These discussions were reported yesterday by business daily Vedomosti, which cited government and industry sources.

Such a system would provide the content creation and advertising industries with comprehensive and reliable data, the project proponents argue. In the current situation, market research agencies like Mediascope do provide traffic data for the main online resources, but their field of analysis is far from being sufficient. In advertising, for example, viewership numbers are provided in many cases by such interested parties as the Internet sites themselves.

The matter is particularly sensitive for Russian-made video content such as TV shows and serials, for which no precise online viewership data is available.

The authorities also expect for themselves various benefits from such a system. Advertising viewership data would provide a precise basis for tax collection, while traffic analysis would help the government understand the true impact of Internet resources and content on the public opinion.

Mediascope is likely to be involved in the project, according to Vedomosti’s sources in the government and the industry. The company’s CEO Ruslan Tagiyev declined to comment.

Formerly known as TNS Russia, Mediascope is controlled by VTSIOM, a state-owned polling institute.

Still under discussion, the project is not confirmed yet. Its implementation will face hurdles in technical and organizational terms, notes Vedomosti.

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