Russian search engine Yandex jumped into the music fray earlier this week, launching Yandex.Radio, an ad-supported streaming music service that offers about 100 stations organized around mood and themes.
The service will offer about 20 million tracks, the same type of music as Yandex.Music, a service that launched in 2010. Yandex Music now supports about 10 million monthly users who stream any track from the catalog.
The biggest different is that while Yandex.Music helps listeners discover new music based on interests and preferences, Yandex.Radio offers them music that matches their current mood or activity, which will eventually make target advertising even more interesting. The ability to target ads based on assuming the listener's mood or activity provides another data point in the coffer.
The company said it uses machine-learning technology, which sorts each track into one or several mood or activity channels to then create a playlist.
Yandex calls the service a "personal jukebox player," which is currently available for free to users in Russia. The revenue from the service will come from audio advertising. Similar to Pandora or iHeart Radio, Yandex.Radio will feature audio ads. In the future the company will add graphic images or text both in the app and on the desktop service.