Yandex.Music

  • Choose if: you like having your mind read

  • Monthly fee: 199 rubles per month as a part of Yandex.Plus

  • Download: App Store, Google Play, Microsoft (for PC)

If you’re in Russia for more than a day, you’ve probably heard about Yandex: this tech company has built a vast digital ecosystem, covering various services from taxi to food delivery, and didn’t forget about music, too. Now Yandex.Music, Russia’s most popular audio streaming platform, is available as a part of the Yandex.Plus subscription. The service provides access to music, podcasts, and audiobooks, both online and offline. In addition to a month-long trial offer, you can also use it for free (but with limited functions) all the time!

The app mainly stands out with its smart playlists: while you're listening to music, AI-based algorithms diligently analyze your preferences to select perfect tracks for your taste. Sometimes the result is so on point you get suspicious if it's even possible. Recently, the app was complemented with another handy feature that allows you to import your entire Spotify library.

VK Music

  • Choose if: you’re an experienced VK user or a thrifty student (or both)

  • Monthly fee: 169 rubles per month, 90 rubles per month for students

  • Download: App Store, Google Play

From its very beginning, the social network VK  hosted a music section that has since evolved into a separate platform for audio content. As a result, those who for years saved tracks to make up their own collections on their VK profiles will have the opportunity to keep them. VK’s library is filled mostly with songs, among which are absolute gems – the coolest covers and songs from obscure (wrongly) artists. There’s no desktop app – it’s built into the website, so the service is more suitable for smartphone users. There’s a free version, too, but using it is rather torturous – your music keeps playing only when the app is open.

Credit: Alexander Popov (@5step5) on Unsplash.com

Credit: Alexander Popov (@5step5) on Unsplash.com

Zvuk

  • Choose if: you know what HiFi is

  • Monthly fee: 169 rubles per month 

  • Download: App Store, Google Play

Are there audiophiles here? The Sberbank-owned service Zvuk is the first one in Russia to stream music in lossless HiFi. Another good bit of news – you can enjoy it for free, although, of course, with ads included. The subscription itself can be bought separately or within the SberPrime package, сomplete with online shopping services and the Okko streaming platform. The other functions are pretty similar to any other decent audio platform: wide choice of tracks, playlists for various moods and genres, and downloads for offline mode.

SoundCloud

  • Choose if: you’re something of a musician yourself

  • Monthly fee: none

  • Download: App Store, Google Play

Founded in Sweden, this online audio distribution platform is a great option for those who make music or are simply looking for free-of-charge services. As a creator, no matter whether emerging or a major one, you can upload your tracks, receive support from other users, or even monetize your work. Besides, mixes and tracks by artists from all around the world provide SoundCloud with a unique library that cannot be found on any other platform. The platform’s only restriction is no offline playback – listening to music requires a constant Internet connection. 

Make your stay in Russia easier with our guide on must-have apps.