The first industry push in Russia was to clamp down on pirate and unlicensed music services, persuading some of the highest-profile examples to sign licensing deals.

Now we appear to be entering a second phase: to shift those services’ emphasis a little more towards paid subscriptions rather than free streaming.

Billboard reports that Russian social networks / streaming services vKontakte, Odnoklassniki and Boom have introduced a new restriction that music can only be streamed in the background for free for 30 minutes a day.

“Users can remove the restrictions and get access to additional features by launching a paid subscription,” said a spokesperson for United Media Agency (UMA), which licenses music for all three sites’ parent company They added that is “expanding our library of top-quality music tracks” as part of these changes.

The goal here is clearly to put some momentum behind paid streaming in Russia: according to the IFPI, the market only generated $12.7m from streaming subscriptions in 2016, and another $8.9m from free, ad-supported streams. The risk is of driving listeners back to piratical sources for their music.

EarPods and phone

Tools: platforms to help you reach new audiences

Tools: Kaiber

In the year or so since its launch, AI startup Kaiber has been making waves,…

Read all Tools >>

Music Ally's Head of Insight

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *