MOSCOW, Russia (Hypebot) – Zvooq is a streaming music service that provides ad-supported free and low cost music subscriptions of fully licensed music. Operating in Russia, the Ukraine and related markets that Zvooq itself notes for a high level of music piracy, Zvooq is establishing itself as the legal alternative to piracy. Though Spotify may be available in Russia as early as this fall, Zvooq has both a headstart on the region and the initial funding to do battle.
Today Zvooq announced the close of a $20 million Series A round.
Russian retailer Ulmart and Helsinki-based Essedel Capital led the round.
From the official announcement:
"The funds will be used to bolster and promote Zvooq’s leading freemium music streaming model that allows companies to integrate a free, legal streaming solution into their products. The platform converts illegal consumption of music into legal consumption by making it easy for any service to offer any kind of consumer music where they want it."
"Zvooq’s platform integrates directly into social networks, phones (and directly into cellular carriers’ offerings) to offer a truly mass market solution – high quality music that’s easily available to any potential listener."
So Zvooq not only offers it's own service but allows other companies to integrate its service giving it a potentially broad reach.
Is Zvooq Ready For Spotify?
Though I don't have an exact feature comparison available, Zvooq offers listeners a complete solution for accessing a huge amount of music on any devices with popular mobile apps as an option similar to Spotify. This comparison is particularly sharp given that Spotify may launch in Russia in the fall.
However Zvooq, which launched in 2011, has been designed for a Russian market that is noted for its piracy.
Co-founder Alexei Ostroukhov then stated:
"Consumers in emerging markets download pirate tracks because it is faster and more convenient, not simply because it’s cheaper."
So Zvooq knows the market and is now part of the cultural landscape which gives them a solid headstart on Spotify.