Universal catalog lands on Russia’s vKontakte

UMG logo rectangle canvasIn an important agreement that replaces music piracy with music industry revenue, Universal has inked a deal that will legally add its music to the Russian social network/music platform vKontakte. The agreement means that all of the major labels are working with the platform. Few financial details have been disclosed about the Universal deal, but unnamed sources told Russian publication Vedomosti that the label received a “minimum guarantee” that the deal would generate about $8 million over the next three years.

The arrangement ends any legal actions between the parties revolving around copyrights. All three of the majors had filed copyright infringement suits against the Russian service in 2014 because of user-generated content uploads. Sony and Warner had since ended their suits, but Universal had kept the effort going until now. Russia has been fighting issues with piracy for some time, although the launch of legal streaming options appears to be combatting the issue to an extent.


Anna Washenko