According to Ilyichev, as a result of a merger between SberZvuk and Muzlab, the combined company will offer a larger library to business streaming customers, while individual consumers will be able to access playlists at cafés, restaurants and other venue and continue to listen to tracks they like.
“In addition, SberZvuk users will be able to get more actively involved in businesses’ activities thanks to playlists and their profiles created in SberZvuk,” he says. “They will be able to get news and offers from businesses, while artists will get more opportunities for monetizing their music.”
Founded in 2016, Muzlab operates on a subscription model (an average restaurant pays roughly $20 per month) and is the largest player in Russia’s B2B streaming segment. In recent years, a wave of newer, all-digital B2B platforms like Soundtrack Your Brand in Sweden have begun challenging more established players like Mood Media, Rockbot and PlayNetwork, which target brick-and-mortar businesses for streaming music subscriptions.
The challenge for these companies is to persuade businesses to pay more for music than they would by using consumer streaming services like Spotify, even though those services don’t provide the public performance licenses needed to play music at retail.
SberZvuk was launched in September 2020 when Sber acquired the local music streaming service Zvuk as part of a move to reinvent itself as a tech company offering various services.
Sber aims to use its huge customer base, which it says is 100 million clients, to establish itself as a major player in Russia’s crowded music streaming market, alongside Apple Music, Spotify (which launched in July) and local rivals VKontakte and Yandex Music.
The value of the Muzlab deal was not disclosed.