Spotify offers 78m Russians 6 months of free Premium, via partnership with telco MTS

Spotify has entered into a strategic partnership with one of Russia’s top telcos, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS).

It won’t do a lot for SPOT’s ARPU – but it might have a significant effect on its subscriber numbers this quarter.

The news of the tie-up comes just a month after the streaming company launched in Russia and 12 other markets. (It also confirms MBW’s report from last month, in which our sources told us SPOT would be partnering with MTS in Russia.)

The partnership with MTS, which had 78.5 million subscribers at the end of Q1 2020, will see the telco company’s entire subscriber base offered six months of Spotify Premium for free.

At the end of the six month free deal, MTS subscribers using Spotify premium can continue using the service by paying RUB169 (approximately $2.30) per month, which will be charged via their mobile account.

Russia is home to a population of around 144m people, including an estimated 95m+ smartphone owners.

Russia was the fastest-growing major market globally for the record industry in 2019, with a 50.3% revenue increase year-on-year, according to IFPI statistics.

In addition to launching in Russia last month, Spotify also launched in Albania, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

“Our first partnership in the Russian market provides an opportunity for 78 million MTS subscribers to get premium access to Spotify’s music library.”

Ilya Alekseev,  Spotify 

Ilya Alekseev, Managing Director of Spotify in Russia, said: “We strive to work with strong partners around the world so our users get a first-class experience and listen to their favourite music anytime and on any device.

“Our first partnership in the Russian market provides an opportunity for 78 million MTS subscribers to get premium access to Spotify’s music library, which features more than 60m tracks and 4 billion playlists, as well as personalised recommendations for new music every day.”

“Teaming up with Spotify will strengthen MTS’s leadership in the market, and give our customers the first opportunity in Russia to try out this exclusive offer.”

Vyacheslav Nikolaev, MTS

Vyacheslav Nikolaev, MTS’s Vice-president for Customer Experience, Marketing and Ecosystem Development, added: “This strategic partnership with the world’s most popular music subscription service is yet another step forward as we develop our entertainment services and build out the broader MTS digital ecosystem.

“Music, podcasts and audiobooks are already essential services for millions of Russian consumers.

“Teaming up with Spotify will strengthen MTS’s leadership in the market, and give our customers the first opportunity in Russia to try out this exclusive offer.”

 Music Business Worldwide