Russian social network launches streaming service backed by label deals

Russian social media platform VKontakte has successfully launched a built-in music service. The company has been working toward this goal for some time, and now it has secured licensing deals with all three of the majors and with indie label network Merlin. The service, which often draws comparisons to Facebook, had 410 million accounts as of January 2017. It is a top platform in Russia and a top social network worldwide.

VKontakte offers two options for accessing its internal music platform: a subscription costing 149 rubles ($2.60) a month or an ad-supported model. Users can create playlists and follow the music collections made by their friends. It will also have a recommendation system. The new system is a switch from how VKontakte previously operated its music features, which allowed members to upload tracks; labels saw that as an infringement of their rights.

Anna Washenko