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Opera launches streaming music service in Russia

Norwegian software outfit Opera has announced the launch of a streaming music service in Russia — one of the markets where its mobile browser performs best.

The idea behind the product, called Unlimited Music, is to “make music files available in a simple and affordable way for Russians, no matter if they are on a feature phone or a smartphone,” the company told The Next Web.

While the service is available on the web, it is reportedly aimed first at people using the Opera Mini mobile browser on their smartphones and feature phones.

Unlimited Music will set users back around US$5 a month, giving them access to a library of over two-million songs which they can either stream or download. There is a slight caveat however. iOS users won’t be able to download music because of restrictions on their devices.

According to Opera’s Russian director of development Artem Zinovyev the service will roll out to more countries if it succeeds in Russia.

In order to get the project off the ground, Opera has partnered with Communications Rights, which will sort out all the copyright issues. Nikolai Okorokov, a managing partner at the company says he’s confident that the service will take off fairly quickly and that it could pass the 1.5-million active user mark by the end of 2013.

Unlimited Music’s main competitor in the space will more than likely be the music app from Yandex. Its service is only available for iOS and costs US$6.99 a month.

iTunes does not yet have a presence in Russia, although it is slated to launch some time next year.