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Spotify comes to Russia

0 21 February 2014

Spotify was launched in Switzerland in October 2008 and now has more than 25 million subscribers from different countries. The service offers a legal way of listening to music where owners perhaps have no connection to the site but still hold the digital rights. New users receive 14 days free subscription during which time they also receive adverts. After that they have to subscribe to the service which, depending on the tariff plan, costs from $5 to $10 a month. Spotify is not yet available directly to Russian users.

At the end of January, Spotify was registered as an LLC in Russia under the Director-General Igor Sorokin. The Moscow representatives are currently based in the business centre on Lesnoy Pereylok, near to “Belorusskaya” metro station. The offices for eBay and PayPal are housed in the same building.

Representatives of the Swedish company's head office reported to “Izvestia”, that their goal was “to make Spotify accessible everywhere”, but they declined to comment about their plans for launching Spotify in Russia.

In Russia the music industry is operating increasingly over the internet.

The head of Universal Music Russia Dmitri Konov has said that the way in which Russians buy and listen to music is changing rapidly as the sale of physical music falls whilst digital rises.

“In 2012 iTunes launched and then in October last year so did Google Music Play. Spotify finds itself in competition with many other legal players in the market. There used to be the idea that Russian users weren’t prepared to pay for music downloads, but with the appearance of iTunes in Russia, this myth has been dispelled. We feel that iTunes has had a positive effect. The more players of this type in the market, then the closer our market will be to the international one. It is excellent that Spotify has arrived. It will force Russian services, like “Yandex.Music”, to think about counter-steps.”

Alexander Blinov, the director of “Gala Records/EMI” in Russia is confident that iTunes and Spotify will not be in competition as

“they have different uses: Apple provides the possibility to download music to a mobile device, whereas Spotify only provides a means of listening. The internet is developing in Russia. In the country there is now a real demand which is beginning to change the anti-piracy legislation. The protection of intellectual property allows legal services to take up a larger share in the market.”

Yandex Press service commented that:

"New players are welcome to come into the Russian market whenever they like. But at the moment all the music services in Russia are working towards a future in which users will choose to listen to legal content. Yandex.Music is making this happen." CEO Sergei Sichar is sure that nothing will change after Spotify launches in Russia.

“Until such services such as VKontakte and Odnoklassniki deal with the issue of illegal content, the situation will not change. We already have services which allow the user to listen to music free of charge. Spotify coming to Russia just means that there is one more such service.”


Top image via Shutterstock

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