Spotify Set to Launch in Russia

Spotify ruling. Embargoed to 0001 Wednesday March 11 File photo dated 11/06/14 of the Spotify App. Warner Bros has been censured after an advert featuring evil clown Pennywise from the horror movie It appeared during a lullaby playlist on Spotify. Issue date: Wednesday March 11, 2020. A listener complained after hearing the Stephen King character, voiced by Swedish actor Bill Skarsgard, between songs played to their child on the music streaming service. See PA story CONSUMER Spotify. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire URN:51253905 (Press Association via AP Images)

A year and a half after launching in India, Spotify will enter another fertile market: Russia.

As first reported by Music Business Worldwide, and confirmed by Variety via sources, July 15 will mark the Swedish streaming giant’s 80th territory, home to nearly 100 million smartphones. Per MBW, Spotify is expected to partner with Russian telco MTS for its launch. Spotify declined to comment.

In Spotify’s last quarterly earnings call at the end of April, the company reported 130 million paid subscribers and 286 million total global users. Two weeks ago, Spotify’s stock reached an all-time high — at $267.48 per share — boosted by an upgrade from Goldman Sachs, which raised its price target from $205 to $280.

The company singled out its recent podcast acquisitions and new advertising technology that has increased its revenue and subscribers. Among the acquisitions in the podcast realm, the company announced a multiyear pact with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to produce and distribute an original slate of narrative scripted podcasts based on its stable of Super Heroes and Super-Villains, which includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and the Joker.

This spring, Spotify signed a $100 million-plus deal to exclusively distribute Joe Rogan’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, starting later in 2020, and has deals with Kim Kardashian West for an exclusive podcast about criminal-justice reform and with the Obamas for a slate of exclusive podcasts. It began its foray into podcasting last year by buying Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast; in February, Spotify snapped up Bill Simmons’ The Ringer, a deal centered on the startup’s podcast lineup.

Last month, Spotify became available for Comcast’s TV and broadband subscribers to stream from their television sets.

Spotify boasts 50 million music tracks and more than 1 million podcasts.