Russian ecosystems from Sberbank, Yandex, MTS and VK. What's wrong with them and who wins


The other day, two events happened at the same time, which well characterize what is happening on

Russian market.For starters, I note that Yandex decided to convert the Yandex.Plus subscription into one non-alternative offer - the Plus subscription for 299 rubles. Before us is the reincarnation of Yandex.Plus Multi, that is, a family subscription in which you can connect up to three additional people, and Kinopoisk works on ten devices. Existing subscribers of the basic "Plus" receive "Multi" for 199 rubles, then they will be transferred to an expensive subscription in November. It will be possible to purchase a subscription for a year for 1,990 rubles.

The reasons why Yandex decided on suchchanges lie on the surface: it is necessary to increase the profitability of Yandex.Plus, this loyalty program is unprofitable, and the situation is not improving. In the light of the upcoming refusal of the basic subscription, it becomes clear why Yandex squeezed its users out to Multi, worsened the conditions of the basic subscription. The company thus reduced the number of those who may resent the increase in the cost of a subscription.

"Yandex" worsens the conditions of "Yandex.Plus" in the basic subscription

Yandex creates pain for its users so that they pay 50% more - new conditions for Yandex.Plus. Price increase for all subscriptions in 2022.

The question of promotional offers fromYandex, through which they increase the Yandex.Plus subscriber base, many use this option for free, since the company has created all the conditions for this. And after a three-month period, they simply connect the subscription again.

Another event that coincided in time and itscan be interpreted as a response to the actions of Yandex, - MTS is reducing the cost of the MTS Premium subscription, it now costs 179 rubles instead of 299 rubles for three people.

It turns out that while "Yandex" priceraises, in MTS, on the contrary, it is reduced. And here a funny situation arises, the MTS management believed in its fixed idea that the company has an ecosystem, it is in demand among users and further down the list. And if there is a Yandex ecosystem for 299 rubles, then you can automatically win by lowering the threshold for entering the MTS ecosystem, right? The approach is mechanistic, but it is precisely it that is embedded in the reasoning about providing discounts and attracting people.


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And this is where we come to the conclusion thatsuch an ecosystem and how close any company in Russia is to creating it. I do not consider it necessary to write out a definition of an ecosystem from somewhere, for me it is the combination of different products of one company into a single offer that is convenient to use. That is, the company knows something about me, and then I use the products that I need. The best approach to my understanding of the ecosystem in Russia was Yandex - the company has a taxi, various online services and search, plus Yandex.Market, where you can buy goods, Yandex.Food, Yandex.Drive and, in addition to of this, scooter rental. No one forces you to use all the company's services, for example, for me the main thing is a taxi, I use Yandex.Disk, and also periodically Yandex.Market. I almost never use Lavka or food delivery. All other services, as a rule, are not interesting to me.

A big plus of Yandex is that points from itend-to-end, you can accumulate or spend them in almost every service of the company. I’ll leave out of the brackets how many points and for what they are awarded, in the context of our history, this is completely unimportant. What is important here is that we get a convenient tool. But to say that the Yandex ecosystem covers all my needs in life, digital or real, is impossible. Moreover, with the exception of taxis, where Yandex has a de facto monopoly, I do not have a preferential choice of this company's products. I take scooters from Whoosh, food delivery is cheaper directly from restaurants, I have a choice wherever Yandex has not become a monopoly. At the same time, Yandex is not a mobile operator and cannot cover this basic need of any modern person. Just as no company can cover all human needs, we can safely consider this a utopia. Services that we need and are useful will always remain outside the brackets. The same Yandex.Market is one of several sites where I look at the prices of goods, I often buy directly in stores, since the same goods are much cheaper there.

It is my deep conviction that allecosystem companies are building a chimera, something impossible in real life. There are a lot of beautiful marketing words, a lot of ornate reasoning, but if you scrape to the very essence, it turns out that there is emptiness behind a beautiful picture. A person does not need a Yandex.Plus subscription or one from some other service, be it Sberbank or someone else. Each person needs specific services and goods, plus a reasonable price for them. And the ecosystem is perceived as a kind of discount subscription in several places, which gives you additional benefits.

More than a year ago he said that Sberbank wouldfor Yandex, there is very serious competition in building an ecosystem - the bank has a vision multiplied by unlimited budgets. Life has made its own amendments, the daughters of Sberbank have come under sanctions, they began to get rid of associations with their parent. But the business environment itself has become such that it is difficult, if not impossible, to create a semblance of an ecosystem. Therefore, we can safely assume that Sberbank is dropping out of this race for a while.

The situation with VC, on the one hand, is comparable to"Sberom", on the other hand, the company collects assets, there is no single offer that would be noticeable and interesting. Hence the fact that few people perceive VK as some kind of ecosystem. And in fact, we are left with two players - Yandex and MTS. I see no point in considering Tinkoff, there is no ecosystem in the usual sense, it is a bank with a number of additional services.

Let's take a look at how comparable in terms of numbers the "ecosystem" of MTS and Yandex. In the second quarter, Yandex.Plus announced 13.5 million subscribers.

In the second quarter, MTS reported that they have 12.3 million ecosystem customers, that is, those who consciously use two or more MTS products.

Unfortunately, there are no statistics on the number of those whobought a Premium subscription, is not given, but it is this data that can be considered a reflection of the MTS ecosystem with a stretch. For example, buying a smartphone in the MTS retail network at a discount, which is credited in the form of points to the phone account of any operator, these are two services! Agree that the calculations are somewhat surprising: one purchase transforms a person even without an MTS SIM card into a client of two company services. Juggling numbers to give them weight, the good old game. But here it is definitely redundant.

Average number of products used perby the client, even with this combing, the reality is 1.53 in the second quarter. And this is very little! We are silent about the subscription, because we know nothing about it and about the numbers.


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And here it turns out that the struggle fornumbers - who has more ecosystem customers, a comparison of screws and circles, in which no real result can be obtained. Yandex is the largest player in the ecosystem in Russia, while MTS dumps and gives the “best” offer in terms of price. But it is simply impossible to compare MTS and Yandex or Yandex and Sberbank, neither of these ecosystems can compete with the other, they offer completely different products. At some points, they intersect, for example, "MTS Music" is the same "Yandex.Music", they have one database of compositions. In Yandex, MTS Music users are recorded in their statistics, they are considered clients of their service, but not of their service. It's funny, isn't it?

We'll be back to comparison very soon.individual services, to the purchase of specific offers. And those same ecosystems will turn out to be the usual loyalty programs that companies have, de facto it is in Yandex today. In the same Yandex.Plus subscription, they sell me a bunch of unnecessary things - music, some films in Kinopoisk, additional places in the subscription itself. I also need discounts in a taxi (or even better, the real price, and not these marketing delights), perhaps discounts on something else. Using the example of restaurants and food delivery from them, I can say that the “ecosystem” of Yandex does not keep me in them, it’s cheaper to order delivery directly, the savings are noticeable.

The bet on the development of the ecosystem is an attemptto sell unnecessary services to the consumer, to inflate statistics, and at the same time no one thinks about how to use all this goodness. For example, MTS subscribers get free access to the KION online cinema, which belongs to the operator. In the section with the received cashback, the Premium subscriber is the first to see the opportunity to spend points on the same KION that is already included in the subscription for free. No one takes this into consideration and does not think about it, since KION lives a separate life and achieves special conditions for itself within MTS. And it is promoted even for those who already have access to it. Sad.

The only question is when the word "ecosystem" will become a household word and will carry a negative connotation. I think two or three more years, and it will happen.

We conducted a survey in our Telegram channel about which of the companies, in your opinion, has an ecosystem, the answers are curious.

The survey can be found here

But the next poll was about whether someone in Russia has an ecosystem.

The survey can be found here

I think it will be interesting to come back in a year anddo the same polls, see what has changed. Follow the links below to find a couple of articles on the same topic, in one of them I talk about why ecosystems are a myth, why they do not exist.

Ecosystem as the mantra of corporations. Why the ecosystem is a myth

Why is the word ecosystem harmful, and are there any in the world? What will make you buy a product where it is more expensive and the purchase is unprofitable?

The fall of ecosystems - why we need individual services, not ecosystems

Ahead of us is the legal regulation of ecosystems - how to store Apple data in Google or Microsoft, why ecosystems in their current form are bad.