Mediascope’s new research: how Russians search for books on the Internet

According to Mediascope, about 43% of the Russian population (12-64 years old) read books online and a third of Russians listen to audiobooks. We conducted a study using data from our desktop (15 thousand people) and mobile (20 thousand people) panels, including BrandPulse research. The main goal of the project is to study the online book audience, the largest book resources and to clarify popular Russians web books.

The special elaborated software helps to collect information about media consumption and preferences of participants. It is a special plugin for the browser on a desktop computer and in smartphones.

How many Russians read books online and listen to audiobooks?

According to Brand Pulse research, about 43% of Russians (12-64 years old) read books on smartphones or computers. About 13% of them have a subscription at least one online service for reading books. The same number of respondents buy books online (in terms of the population of 12-64 years old, this is about 6%).

A third of Russians (12-64 years old) listen to audiobooks. A significant part of those people buys a subscription to an online service for listening to books (15%) and buys audiobooks (13%).

In Russia women read more online than men — 59% vs. 41% (at the same time, the entire population 12-64 years old is divided in half). The share of women among audiobook listeners is 55%. Consequently, online reading and listening to audiobooks is more typical for women.

Where Russians read and buy web books?

The electronic library Litres is the largest book resource on the internet. According to CrossWeb, about 13% of Russians visited it in the first quarter of 2022. Top 10 book resources consist of electronic library sites (paid and free), including two online bookstores — Labirint and Chitay-gorod. The book reviews resource Livelib.ru takes the third place in the top.

Labirint is the largest resource among online bookstores, the publishing house website Eksmo is the first among online publishing stores and Litres is the first among electronic libraries.

What books do Russians look for on the Internet?

We have analyzed the search requests related to reading such as «book», «ebook», «manga», «manhwa», «audiobook», «read online», «fb2» and others. The analysis includes search engines, book resources and other sites as well as the search inside the applications of the marketplaces and Youtube.

From January to May 2022, Russian residents over the age of 18 mostly searched for «The Harry Potter Series» on the internet. «The Witcher» book series took the second place. The biggest part of the popular books in web search was the base for movies or video games. The top 10 of the book search request includes two works in the genre of «young adult» — «Summer in a Pioneer Tie» and «The Foxhole Court».

We have separately analyzed a manga genre (japanese comics). The most popular works were «Attack on Titan» and «Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba». All the works of the top 10 formed the basis of the anime (japanese video cartoon animation).

Children’s literature, fiction (time travel and other worlds) and psychology are leading in the top of internet requests by genre.

The most Russian authors are leading in the top requests (7 out of 10 queries), but american author Stephen King is in first place.

Men and women search for books on the Internet is fundamentally different. Women generally are looking for children’s books, psychology and a «young adult» genre. Men prefer to search books that formed the basis of video games or it is a continuation of them.

The age of respondents also influences on the online book searching. People under 35 years old search for books by name, 35-54 years old — by literary genres, and people 55 + years old search for books by the author’s name.


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