Russia's Yandex.Music Streaming Service Launches in Israel, First Expansion Beyond Former Soviet States

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A bird's eye view of Tel-Aviv and the Mediterranean sea.

Yandex.Music, Russia's largest local music streaming service, has made its first step towards expansion beyond the former Soviet Union by launching in Israel.

On Monday, the online giant Yandex, often referred to as "the Russian Google," launched its music service in Israel, offering local users a catalog of tens of millions of international and Israeli tracks, as well as playlists curated for the Israeli audience, the company said.

"As one of the largest tech companies in Europe with over two decade of experience in machine learning and building user-friendly products, we have been able to build the top music streaming service in Russia, popularized by a great music catalog and its best-in-class smart playlist feature," Amir Biktimirov, head of global development at Yandex.Music, said in a press release.

"We are excited to expand our service to Israel, where we expect listeners will enjoy discovering new Israeli, Russian, and international music," he added.

In Israel, Yandex.Music will be offered at a lifetime monthly rate of ILS 9.90 ($2.7) for users who subscribe within 30 days of the launch and at a rate of ILS 19.90 ($5.5) per month for all subsequent subscribers.

The Yandex.Music launch in Israel follows the recent establishment of the Yandex School of Data Analysis branch in Tel Aviv, which offers a one-year career advancement program in data science and the introduction of the Yandex Machine Learning Initiative at Tel Aviv University.

Currently, Yandex.Music's app is available in Israel in the English and Russian languages, with a Hebrew search functionality, while a Hebrew will be added in the future, Yandex said.

Apart from international and Russian artists, the Israeli version of Yandex.Music features local artists, such as Omer Adam, Eden Ben Zaken and Static & Ben El Tavori.

Meanwhile, the streaming service's main page features an Israeli top chart, which is updated on a daily basis.

Launched in 2010, Yandex.Music currently offers over 40 million tracks and has over 20 million monthly active users in Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Belarus.

The Yandex.Music app allows users to stream top charts and curated playlists, play albums and individual tracks and access Yandex.Radio service, which offers tracks selected for various moods and activities.

In Russia, Yandex.Music is available at 169 rubles ($2.5) per months with a three-month free trial period or at 1690 rubles ($25) per year.