Study: Online Music Sales in Russia to Grow by 158 Percent in 2013

Legitimate online music sales in Russia are to more than double this year, a local research company says, adding that iTunes’ presence in the market has a serious impact.

In 2013, Russia’s legitimate online music market is to reach $8 million, a 158 percent increase from last year, J’son & Partners Consulting, a Moscow-based research group, said in a report.

Among the main drivers behind the growth is the successful operation of iTunes in the local market, said J’son & Partners, adding that by 2015, iTunes is likely to account for more than one half of all legitimate online music sales in Russia.

iTunes music store was launched in Russia in December 2012, although rumors about iTunes’ entering the Russian market had been around for several years. iTunes’ arrival coincided with a decline of the first wave of legitimate local online music services, which were unable to achieve profitable operation and closed down or switched to other products, such as Yota Muzyka, Fidel and Stream.

The decline of those services, coupled with the popularity of Apple devices and applications in Russia put iTunes in favorite market conditions.

The only strong local online music service is Yandex.Muzyka, run by Russia’s largest search engine, Yandex. However it isn’t competing with iTunes as it offers music for streaming as opposed to selling it. Yandex.Muzyka operates as a free service, but those who buy its mobile application have to pay a subscription fee.

Meanwhile, according to J’son & Partners Consulting, sales of albums and individual tracks are to remain the most common online music service in Russia through 2016, accounting for just above 80 percent of all online music sales.