WMG, Sony And Others Sell Their Russian Online Music Distributor To Ru-Net II

Russian digital investment company ru-Net II has bought online music and film distribution platform Digital Access from joint owners including Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Music Entertainment, according to Russian newspaper Kommersant, via Yakov. Digital Access was founded in 2007 with investment from Access Industries, WMG, the then Sony BMG and Russian labels Soyuz and Nikitin Records as a way to distribute the companies’ full tracks, ring tones and videos to online portals and mobile operators. The company has access to more than 250,000 songs and 5,000 videos.

ru-Net II is a division of Russian tech investment firm ru-Net Holdings, which co-owns the Yandex search site. It appears to be tapping into a lively market: according to Yakov, music sales via mobile in Russia reached more than $600 million (£416 million), with 40 percent of that revenue going back to mobile operators — and Dmitry Konnov, director of Universal Music Russia, reckons Digital Access accounts from between 20 and 30 percent of the mobile music market in Russia.