Russian internet giant Yandex has launched a new music streaming service, Yandex.Radio – a jukebox for users in the country who want to listen to pre-programmed music stations.
This is the company’s second venture into music streaming. The first, Yandex.Music, is more Spotify-like, offering a library of 20 million tracks to choose from. It claims to have 10 million unique monthly users.
Yandex.Radio takes a Pandora-esque approach, with 100+ channels classified by mood, activity and genre.
Yandex says its using “proprietary machine-learning technology” to tailor the playlists to the previous listening activity of the user.
The service is available online and as a mobile app for iOS and Android. As you’d expect from a free option, it features audio ads within the streams.
Music piracy is rampant in Russia with social network vKontakte leading the way as the source for downloading new music. The company also faces other legal competitors like streaming service Zvooq.
Still, it’s likely that Yandex’s size and clout will draw a significant number of users to its online radio stations.