The Yappy application, part of Gazprom-Media Holding (GPMH), is launching its own music label, Yappy Music. The company will focus on promoting young artists through a vertical video service. Financial support from a large media holding will allow the project to become noticeable on the market in a few years, experts admit. However, this is not the first attempt by GPMH to launch its own label, they remind.
A representative of the Yappy video service told Kommersant that the platform is launching its own music label. His work includes professional music recording, producing, marketing, PR and promotion, licensing, track distribution, and concert organization. There are three forms of cooperation with the label depending on the volume of contracts, including 360 support (full rights management and monetization, as well as marketing, advances, work with catalogs and the creation of new works). The label’s partner for the distribution of content for music streaming (VK Music, Yandex Music, MTS Music, etc.) will be ZVONKO digital.
The company said Yappy Music’s goal is to “become an accessible entry point into a music career for young talent through a vertical video app.”
The company refused to disclose who will head Yappy Music. According to Kommersant, the search for new artists (A&R, Artists and Repertoire) will be carried out by Gazprom Media Holding content producer Charlotte Schneider. Investments in the project and commercial terms of cooperation with artists are not disclosed.
Yappy has already implemented a number of musical projects: at the beginning of the year, the show “Contract for Luck” was launched on the 2×2 TV channel (part of GPMH) with the opportunity to sign a contract with the label as the main prize. The platform also launched “Yappy hit”, aimed at new artists.
“Gazprom-Media” announced about the launch of the Yappy social network with vertical videos in September 2021. It is aimed at Russian bloggers under 35 years of age and is developed on the basis of the Yamolodets application, purchased by the company in 2020. The service was officially launched in November 2021. The popularity of the platform began to grow against the backdrop of foreign social networks leaving the Russian market due to military operations in Ukraine and blocking. In December 2023, the company announced that the platform’s monthly audience exceeded 11 million.
After the official departure of the largest major labels Warner Music, Universal Music and Sony Music from Russia amid hostilities in Ukraine, large Russian companies began active expansion into the music business. VK, MTS, GC “Riki” and former top manager of Warner Music Bakhtiyar Aliyev launched their own labels. As Kommersant’s source in the industry notes, in the current situation, the emergence of new major players who will try to divide the industry is inevitable. “Judging by the picture on streaming services, the lack of fresh foreign releases has not had a negative impact on listening to music,” he notes.
“A label is a difficult job aimed at bringing an artist beyond the scope of one service: you need to be able to build a strategy for the artist not only within its ecosystem, but within the market,” notes a Kommersant interlocutor from among music managers.
He also recalls that this is not the first attempt by GPMH to enter the music market: “The company launched the TNT music label in 2019, but now it actually does not work.” The last entry in the group on VKontakte of the TNT Music label was made in 2021, Kommersant noted.
Now only a label that is part of a large holding company can survive on the market, which will provide financing and cover operating costs, says Evgeniy Safronov, general director of the Intermedia agency: “From this point of view, there are chances that in a few years the Yappy project may become noticeable on the market.” However, in general, development for the industry is now complicated by the shortage of qualified music managers, the expert adds.