Sberbank ecosystem to add SberZvuk

Sep 23, 2020

Sberbank is creating a new audio streaming service based on an independent player, Zvuk.

Branded as SberZvuk, the audio streaming service shall unite 40 million songs from the world’s top copyright holders (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group), local and independent recording studios, and a collection of popular audiobooks and podcasts.

The deal will see Zvuk become Sberbank’s wholly-owned entity. Mikhail Ilyichev, who headed Zvuk between 2014 and 2017, will be re-appointed as the service’s new CEO, with the current CEO, Igor Mukhin, to remain a team member.

Audio streaming is a strategically important element of the Lifestyle industry and the world’s largest ecosystems. Benefiting the engagement of new customers, music can be easily integrated into bundles. Music streaming services’ subscribers make purchases within one online session more often. All this enhances customer experience within an ecosystem and fuels loyalty to the main brand.

As a result of the deal, Zvuk will be integrated into the Sberbank ecosystem as much as possible across all the key verticals, complementing, and improving the current services. A proprietary music streaming service will enable ecosystem companies to come up with new and unique products. Sberbank and Zvuk have already integrated the audio streaming service into Sberbank ID, with SberPay payment service following suit shortly. Music will also be available through upcoming subscription services and the bank’s smart devices. The music streaming service’s logo and name will be changed across all of the company’s platforms: on the website, in the mobile app, and in the social media.

By using the operational and technical solutions of the joint platform’s other businesses, their expertise, and by creating new joint services with the Sberbank ecosystem companies, Zvuk is positioned to become an audio streaming leader in Russia.

Lev Khasis, First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank:

“Sberbank constantly expands the capabilities of its ecosystem and develops solutions with the needs and requests of our customers at the core. Russia has over 64 million online music listeners, and half of the users of music streaming services listen to music for more than one hour a day. Investments in Zvuk are fully aligned with the development strategy of the bank’s ecosystem, enabling us to strengthen our offerings to entertainment market customers. After all, Lifestyle is an integral part of our life, and entertainment is the fastest-growing vertical on this market. We are delighted to welcome a new team. I am sure that the place they’ll take in our ecosystem will be as rightful and special as the place music takes in the life of every person.”

Mikhail Ilyinichev, CEO, Zvuk:

“For Zvuk as an independent player, music has always been the main focus of its operations, with the needs of listeners being the number one priority. The team has always known what needed to be done to best meet the audience’s demand for audio content, but sometimes lacked resources to do that. Combining the previous experience and expertise with the opportunities Sberbank has will position stakeholders to create a leading service that will grab the user’s attention in all of those many moments when you don’t have a screen in front of you, but you are in the vicinity of at least one connected device with a speaker.”

Zvuk is an independent music streaming service from Russia that is among the music streaming market pioneers in the country. It was incepted in 2010. Being available through the Sberbank ecosystem, it can also be accessed via an eponymous iOS/Android app or on Zvuk’s mission is to help millions of users find the right music for any moment: when you’re happy or sad, when you’re on the road or doing sports. The free version lets you listen to pre-compiled playlists and get individual recommendations. Zvuk has over six million registered users. It was recognized as the best music app in 2015 on App Store and hit the Top 20 in 2016. The service is available in Russia and CIS, operating in 11 countries. Zvuk is a partner of Russian and CIS celcos, such as MegaFon, Tele2, Beeline Kazakhstan, Beeline Russia, MTS, Kyivstar, Azercell, А1, and Ucell.