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Russian President Predicts Internet Will Soon Replace Ordinary TV

Dmitri Medvedev with LaptopMoscow, 25 April: Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev has predicted that in the near future people will not watch television sets and will use the internet for this.

While the head of state was answering questions on air to the "Dozhd. Optimistic Channel" television channel, general producer Natalya Sindeyeva asked him to allow the channel to participate in the annual interview which the president gives at the end of December to Channel One, Rossiya and NTV.

"I am afraid they will not tolerate this," Medvedev noted.

Sindeyeva complained that then "it turns out that we cut off quite a large section of the audience".

"I agree 200 per cent," the president said.

"I was still working in the presidential administration, many people did not understand me when I said that we were absolutely not paying attention to the internet but it had already become not only a factor in public life - it is what the majority of young people connect their future with. Mark my words, in several years, a considerable proportion of young people will not watch an ordinary television," Medvedev noted.

"And not because they hate it and believe that it is absolutely authoritarian, excessively organized by the state - although some do think this - but even for simple, pragmatic reasons - because it is more convenient to watch it on an iPad, on a computer. I myself literally several years ago, perhaps three-four years ago, stopped watching news programmes on the television. Why? Because it is more convenient to watch on the internet. I can do several things - I look at papers, I can talk to someone by telephone, at the same time, I look at news recordings or online. And a significant proportion of our people are already doing this," the president said.

Sindeyeva agreed that the future is in internet television but noted that in Russia at present it is very difficult to make a profit from it.

"Look how much at present the major international brands, internet brands, are worth, how much social networks are worth and compare them with value of TV channels, they have already exceeded them. The trend is obvious," Medvedev said.

"Advertising budgets here in this respect so far are not very large, they are incomparable with ordinary television, but even our ordinary television management, they are also knowledgeable, trained people who are looking to the future, they understand that without this segment, our 'rock monsters' (presumably TV executives) do not have a future," he believes.

He noted that that only several years ago, the three main federal channels did not even have their own websites.

"Now they have them and understand that without this, it is impossible to do anything," Medvedev said.

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