Exclusive: Spotify is launching in Russia next week

Spotify‘s long-awaited launch in Russia will arrive next Wednesday (July 15), Music Business Worldwide can reveal.

Multiple senior music industry sources have told us that will be the date when SPOT executes its first major global expansion for 16 months, following its launch in India in February 2019.

MBW’s sources further suggest that Spotify is likely to partner with local telco MTS for its Russia launch.

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

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

That pushed the amount of money generated for record labels and artists in Russia above $170m last year, making it the world’s 17th biggest music market.

“We’ve talked about both Russia and South Korea as the markets we want to be in and nothing has changed there.”

Daniel Ek, Spotify (speaking in April)

When contacted by MBW today, a Spotify spokesperson declined to comment on our story.

Spotify’s arrival in Russia will take the platform into its 80th country worldwide. Next on SPOT’s global agenda, say MBW’s sources, is a launch in South Korea.

On Spotify’s Q1 earnings call in April, the firm’s CEO, Daniel Ek, was asked by analysts when Spotify may arrive in both Russia and South Korea.

Ek commented: “We’ve talked about both Russia and South Korea as the markets we want to be in and nothing has changed there… So while we have nothing to announce at this point, you should know they’re definitely two markets that we are focused on, and all the [financial] guidance that we provided includes the timing of any new market launches, whether it be South Korea, Russia, or anything else.”

The news of Spotify’s imminent launch in Russia comes after a flurry of positive news for the company regarding its share price.

At the time of publication (12.30pm ET), Spotify is carrying a $270.87 share price, which translates into a market cap valuation in excess of $50bn.

Spotify’s launch in Russia will present a challenge to ‘Russia’s Facebook‘, VKontakte, which is a popular source of streaming music in the territory.Music Business Worldwide

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