Spotify wanted to launch in Russia a long, long time ago. As far back as 2013 it added Russian-language support to its app, before poaching Google exec Alexander Kubaneishvili the following year to head up its launch plans.
But by February 2015 Spotify had pulled out, with Kubaneishvili blaming “the economic crisis, the political situation, the new laws governing the Internet” (the latter being requirements to store data locally). More than five years later, Spotify may finally be pressing the launch button in Russia though.
MBW reported yesterday that it will go live on 15 July, likely with a partnership with local telco MTS. Earlier this year, CEO Daniel Ek cited Russia alongside South Korea as key markets for expansion.
According to the IFPI, Russia was the 17th largest recorded music market in the world in 2019, showing impressive year-on-year growth of 50.3%. Streaming accounted for 78.1% of the market’s $171.7m revenues last year.
Spotify will face local streaming services like Yandex Music, which had 3.3 million subscribers by January this year.