Russia’s Mail.ru begins charging viewers

The entertainment arm of Russian Internet giant Mail.ru has started charging viewers for video content, joining competitor Yandex in the quest to successfully monetise the online distribution of movies.

Afisha Mail.ru now offers a selection of about 3,000 films for paid viewing. A further 4,000 films are available to be viewed for free but with accompanying advertisements.

The selection ranges from recent domestic and international blockbusters, to classics of Soviet and foreign cinema. Prices per view range from 29 rubles ($0.80) for older films to 299 rubles ($8.30) for recent releases and provide access for two days following the moment of purchase.

The company also says it has plans to launch a subscription service by the end of the year.

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