Russia has long been regarded by many as a market lost to piracy, especially given the widespread availability of DVDs loaded with hundreds of albums as well as copyright-flouting sites such as AllOfMP3.com (which was eventually closed in 2007) and others that came in its wake such as MP3Sparks. Despite this, Moscow-based search engine Yandex has created its own licensed subscription music service (called, amazingly, Yandex Music) for iOS devices. The web-based version of the music service has existed since 2009 but was made available for free. The mobile-based incarnation will cost 199 roubles a month (around $6) for unlimited access to 3m tracks. GigaOm notes that other paid services exist in the country (notably Zvooq.ru), but what Yandex has going for it is scale. It has 5m monthly users on its web music service and, more importantly, it controls two-thirds of the Russian search market. The parallels with Baidu in China and its own licensed music service are obvious, although Yandex is going the voluntary route rather that being forced, like Baidu, to change position following protracted legal actions.
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