For the first time, representatives of the largest providers of licensed digital music in Russia have disclosed data about their audience. In June 2018, the number of active paid and trial subscriptions to VK, OK and the BOOM app’s music services exceeded 1.5 m.
As a result of the partnership of Mail.Ru Group and United Media Agency with leading international and Russian copyright holders, users have been given legal access to the largest music library in Russia and the CIS. Over the past few years, partnership agreements have been signed with Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Merlin Network, Believe, The Orchard, First Music Publishing, National Music Publishing and many others. Artists and their representatives then use the proceeds from these subscriptions to help them create more music.
Music on VK and OK social networking services is available without а subscription. Users can listen to songs and playlists and post tracks to profiles and communities. They can also send music to friends and discover new releases and specially selected playlists in the suggestions section. Users can also access unique content from one of the largest music libraries in the world, which contains tracks of various genres. Subscriptions give users additional benefits, such as the ability to listen to music in the background on mobile devices, listening to music ad-free as well as saving tracks on the BOOM app in order to listen to them offline. Currently, 303 thousand people are trying out the additional functions the music services have to offer with a trial subscription.
Last year, VK completely renovated its music section. Users can now create and share their own playlists as well as add ones that friends, communities and celebrities have compiled. Using a smart algorithm, the suggestions system analyzes the music that users listen to and the pages they follow to offer each user a personalized selection of interesting tracks.
Russian and international singles and albums are regularly premiered on VK. A large number of artists publish new tracks on VK before publishing on other platforms. For many currently popular artists, VK have them a strong boost in the beginning to allow them to gain their first fans and reach a broader audience.
OK’s music platform gives users the ability to listen to the best music and new tracks, including exclusive releases from well-known musicians. Brainstorm, Vyacheslav Butusov, Zara, Semyon Slepakov and other artists have all premiered their albums or tracks on the website. The OK music service has a lot of new features: daily charts with the hottest songs, playlists designed around moods and situations, as well as notifications about favorite playlist updates.
Users from all over Russia take part in special projects that are regularly held on the music platform. In 2017, in order to select musicians for Channel One Russia’s New Year’s broadcast, a short list of artists was compiled according to OK user music preferences. This year, a national music voting event, “Chart’s Dozen”, was held on the social network. The most listened-to rock band on OK was “Leningrad”, which received a special nomination at the event.
BOOM is actively and successfully working on improving the quality of the mobile app. Keeping close connections with users and copyright holders allowed the app to reach first place in app stores. Excellent musical content, comfortable navigation, Top-100 most listened-to artists, editor’s choice playlists, personal recommendations, and the chance to win tickets to prominent concerts to see Russian and foreign artists has become a trademark of the mobile app.
Boris Dobrodeev, CEO (Russia) Mail.Ru Group:
“The biggest challenge our services face is finding the balance between user interests and copyright standards, and it seems that we have found it. We have created leading legal music service while still keeping all of its features and user-generated content. We continue to work on expanding the music library and developing music services.”
Oleg Butenko, Founder UMA:
“From the very beginning of our cooperation with western record companies and local copyright holders, there has been a belief in the great potential of the Russian market. Thanks to the joint work with our partners, we have been able to make a big step forward in legalizing music in Russia”.