SEO and SEM for Russian search engines

Meet Yandex.Radio – personalized radio station and a new digital advertizing channel

логотип приложенияYandex has been working with data analysis and personalization of digital content for many year. They have started using personalization technology Crypta in search in 2012; personalization is also used by other Yandex services. Yandex.Market gives personalized suggestions to its users based on their past behavior and preferences. The new Yandex.Music launched 9 months ago does as well, and the results have been astonishing. Personalization increased the time spent on the service by 70%.

Next move: Yandex.Radio

Yandex.Music is a service in a way similar to Spotify, where 10 million Russian people listen to their favorite artists and songs and discover new music, based on personalized recommendations of course.

At the same time, radio is very big in Russia. Everyone likes to listen to radio while doing other things, like for example exercising, working, studying, you name it. A typical listener statistically only likes about 15% of songs played on his/her favorite radio station. Today at YAC/M conference in Moscow Yandex has announced a product with a potential to disrupt the radio industry and create radio stations that deliver the most likeable music to everyone.


As any classic music service Yandex.Radio has multiple music categories. The tracks are categorized not just by genre, but also by user’s mood or current activity. For example, one could listen to the music for summer mood or relaxed mood, or music for jogging or a romantic date.
Android-2_smThe core of Yandex.Radio is a specially developed by Yandex recommendation technology named Disco (Disco – partly after the music genre and partly because of the analogy with the word “discovery”). Disco customizes the music stream based on users’ actions such as likes, dislikes and skipping certain tracks for each individual user creating a personal radio station that only plays music the user likes.

Yandex.Radio is a free of charge product available on iOS, Android and web. The user experience is very easy – there is no need to create an account, all the music is accessible with one tap / click of a button.

There are about 20 million tracks available via Yandex.Radio. All tracks are of course licensed (which is not that common for the Russian market, where a lot of illegal music content is available online).

Yandex.Radio as a part of your digital marketing mix

Yandex.Radio, just like the free versions of Pandora or Spotify, will play ads for the users. Targeting possibilities are as advanced as targeting for display advertising – interests, geos, demographics, music genres and more, which a heaven for a marketer and a huge improvement comparing to the traditional radio, where the same message is played to everybody.

At the moment there are two ad formats being tested:

  • audio ad (up to 30 seconds)
  • audio ad (up to 30 seconds) with a banner linking to a landing page, app download page or potentially initiating a call

Yandex is still experimenting with frequency of advertising. For now the ads are being played 3-4 times per hour.

Yandex.Radio is expected to be a more of a mass service than Yandex.Music. The ambitions of the team behind it are very high – they define success as reaching the same volumes as traditional radio stations. With all the advanced targeting possibilities Yandex.Radio can soon become a great addition to your digital marketing mix – keep an eye on it and stay tuned!

Anna Oshkalo

Anna is a blogger and online marketing consultant specializing in SEO and SEM for Russian search engines. To see more of Anna's posts, follow her on Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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