The second largest social network in Russia, Odnoklassniki, recently launched a music streaming service on their platform. That would make it the second Russian social network to have a streaming service. Vkontakte has had one for years. Today Vkontakte offers unlimited free music streaming and this month it even introduced a music recommendation feature. Yandex also has a free music streaming app that allows building various playlists (unlike Vkontakte, for instance), though it lacks social dimension and is only available in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazahstan due to copyrights.
Though Odnoklassniki's app is not the first music streaming service in Runet, it is so far the first one that tries to monetize it. The social network intends to use advertising as well as limit the time users can listen to music without paying a subscription fee. Once users cash out on a subscription (the cost has not been announced yet), the proceeds would be shared with copyright holders. Given that statistically Odnoklassniki's users are older than Vkontakte's, they might be more likely to pay for their music.
Odnoklassniki hope that the music streaming app would increase the activity level of existing users and bring in new ones. The first goal is quite likely to follow: streaming music inside the social network gives a good reason for users to stay on the site and share their experiences with friends. However, music streaming by itself is not likely to bring in many new users because it is not a point of difference from Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki's main competitor.
While music streaming space is quite crowded in Runet, there are still plenty of opportunities to bring music to mobile or to offer users legitimate offline access to music. Odnoklassniki, Vkontakte and Yandex make it easy to start streaming music but none offer offline access or mobile music applications like Spotify. However, these features can be expected to come up as music services develop and smartphones become more common in Russia.
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