Spotify has abandoned plans to launch in Russia with its office in the country due to close later this month. Russian news agency TASS reports that the head of the streaming service in the country, Alexander Kubaneishvili, wrote a memo saying: "I regret to say that Spotify has refused to start business in Russia in the nearest future. There are several reasons for that: the economic recession, the political situation, new laws controlling the internet" adding "My last official working day is 12 Feb. Speaking for myself, I can only confirm the fact that indeed, there will be no start-up in the nearest future".
But 2014 was a big year for streaming - and 2015 will be bigger. The Music Industry Blog says this: Apple entering the fray is the catalyst. Apple enters a market when it is ready for primetime. Apple lets the pioneers establish the market, prove the model and create consumer mindshare before it comes in and most often assumes a leadership role. Apple is certainly leaving it later than normal with subscriptions but it is still the same classic follower model, and the marketplace knows it. Hence Jay-Z’s reported €50 million interest in Norwegian streaming service WiMP and Spotify’s reported pursuit of a further $500 million. The first move is ‘let’s get in a market Apple is about to make huge’ and the second is an Apple war chest"