Well, this is somewhat sketchy in terms of sources: Billboard reports that Russian newspaper Vedomosti reported that its sources within labels there say that Russia will be one of the first countries to get Apple’s new streaming music service. Well, they would: Russia has been a famously tough market for legal music sales,
even with the launch of Apple’s iTunes Store in December 2012. What’s more, after spending a significant time preparing to launch in Russia, Spotify abandoned its plans in February this year citing “the economic crisis, the political situation, the new laws governing the internet”. While local services like Zvooq have worked hard to find an audience, labels in Russia would clearly welcome an expansion of Apple’s activities there – although the same challenges that stymied Spotify apply just as much to it.