FREEDOM in January: new projects, growth in views from Russia, and expansion of the international distribution network

In January, the share of YouTube views of the FREEDOM channel from the territory of the Russian Federation increased, and the total number of views of content under the FREEDOM brand on all digital platforms of the State Enterprise “MPIU” and partners exceeded 10 billion.* Also, the channel for Russian-speaking viewers abroad expanded its presence in the networks of national operators in Poland and Moldova.In January, on the YouTube platforms of the State Enterprise “MPIU”, the share of FREEDOM views from the territory of the Russian Federation increased to 62.4%. This is the highest figure since the channel began broadcasting in March 2022. The total share of views from abroad on foreign broadcasting platforms amounted to 90.8% in January, the weighted average for the YouTube channels of the State Enterprise “MPIU” and partners also increased to 79.6% from abroad in general and to 46.2% from Russian Federation**In January, the number of views of content under the FREEDOM brand on all digital platforms of the State Enterprise “MPIU” and partners amounted to 204 million, and the total figure exceeded 10 billion since the launch of broadcasting in March 2022.

The highest interest of the audience abroad was in military topics, in particular in strengthening the defense capability of Ukraine and expanding the arsenal of weapons of the Russian Federation. 3.2 million views (Russian Federation – 66.8%, Kazakhstan – 4.6%, overall views from abroad – 90.2%) received a story with an expert’s commentary on the technical features of the new kind of missiles with which the Russian Federation is attacking Ukraine, which confirms they were delivered from the DPRK. Traditionally, the addresses of the President of Ukraine received much attention. Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s statement about the successful shooting down of Russian missiles by Western air defense systems received 80.9% views from Russia, 2.5% from Kazakhstan, and overall 97.6% views from abroad. Also, the audience’s attention is focused on content that debunks the myths and narratives of Russian propaganda. The next release of the self-produced project “Special Report” with Ksenia Barvinenko, which exposes the manipulations and political technologies that formed the false image of Putin, received more than 200 thousand views, 95.7% from abroad, of which 77.8% from the Russian Federation, and 2.6% from Kazakhstan.

In January, the FREEDOM TV channel premiered a project of its own production “The Candidate” with Ksenia Barvinenko, a series of short political sketches dedicated to the upcoming presidential “elections” in Russia. In the January episodes of the program, they talked about the history of the usurpation of power by the Kremlin dictator and the lies of Putin, who promised not to change the Constitution of the Russian Federation and not to attack Ukraine. Also in January, an updated cycle of programs “Crises of Putin’s Russia” started, its authors analyze what kind of catastrophe Russianism and Putinism will turn out to be for the Russian Federation and why.

The premiere issues of the series of projects dedicated to the revival of the historical memory of the indigenous peoples of Russia and their struggle for independence dealt with the history of the residents of the Kaliningrad region, who support the idea of secession from the Russian Federation and the proclamation of the Baltic Republic. The audience of this “Decolonization” episode included 56.1% from Russia, 8.6% from Kazakhstan, 3.5% from Lithuania, and 95.2% from abroad in general. The top cities by views are Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Krasnodar, Kaliningrad, and Nizhny Novgorod. The foreign audience of the episode about the conceptual project of a state independent from the Russian Federation – the Smolensk Republic – amounted to 96%, of which 53.2% is the Russian Federation, 8.7% is Kazakhstan, and 3.3% is Uzbekistan. In the wake of the protest in Bashkortostan and the increased interest of Russian-speaking viewers in this topic, FREEDOM once again aired the “National Treasure” episode with Denis Pokhila which tells about the historical fate of the Bashkirs on the UNIAN partner YouTube platform. The video collected 570 thousand views: 62.4% from Russia, 14.7% from Kazakhstan, 3.8% from Uzbekistan, and 97% overall views from abroad.

Among the top foreign countries by views of FREEDOM on YouTube in January were Russia (62.4%), Kazakhstan (4.5%), Uzbekistan (3.4%), and Belarus (2.7%). The list of top five cities traditionally consists of Russian cities; in January they are Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Krasnodar, Nizhny Novgorod, and Yekaterinburg, which confirms that FREEDOM content clearly meets the needs of Russian-speaking audiences abroad.

Expanding the international distribution network of the FREEDOM channel in countries with a significant share of Russian-speaking viewers is a priority task for foreign broadcasting. At the beginning of the year, two Polish cable operators, “Elsat” and Virtua Operator received a license to rebroadcast Ukrainian foreign broadcast content. In addition, FREEDOM became available to subscribers of one of the largest digital television providers in Moldova – DanisNet.

During January, the website of FREEDOM TV and the digital news aggregator FREEDOM were repeatedly subjected to large-scale cyber attacks, due to which a temporary disruption in the operation of resources occurred and audience access to content was limited.

In January, the total coverage of the channel’s Telegram accounts FREEDOM and FREEDOM. LIFE amounted to 11.8 million. Views on the FREEDOM TikTok platform continued to grow – 5.4 million views per month.*

General indicators on all digital platforms (YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Telegram) of the State Enterprise “MPIU” and on the platforms of partners, and Ukrainian media groups, where content is published under the FREEDOM brand.

**Data presented in the material as of 01/31/2024. Data sources: analytical tools of digital platforms; Google Analytics; YouTube Studio of FREEDOM channels and partners.