Russian music-streaming service Yandex.Music was rumoured to be planning a launch in Israel, and this week it’s happened. It’s the first time the service, run by internet giant Yandex, has expanded outside the former Soviet Union.

One interesting aspect of the launch: the chance to get a ‘lifetime’ 50% discount on the cost of a monthly subscription. Israelis signing up in the first month after the launch will pay ILS 9.90 (around $2.70) a month for as long as they stay on Yandex.Music, while the price for signups after that will be ILS 19.90 a month (around $5.50).

Billboard’s story on the launch also includes the latest stat on Yandex.Music’s audience back in its home territories: it now has more than 20 million monthly active users across Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Belarus. How many of them pay? In June this year, a figure of 250,000 paying subscribers was floated. This week’s launch also emphasises the fact that Israel is one of the countries where streaming services from different parts of the world are doing battle: Spotify and Yandex.Music don’t (yet) go head-to-head in Russia and its neighbouring countries, but they will now in Israel.

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