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Russia’s Star Media heats up international streaming service Lava

Russia’s Star Media is preparing to launch an international streaming service to make its content available around the world, with original projects coproduced alongside other streamers on the horizon.

Vlad Riashyn

Lava is set to arrive this autumn and will feature programming drawn from Star Media’s library of 7,500 hours of content, while new originals will be added at a later date.

Star Media Group president Vlad Riashyn said the intention for the service, which will come in ad-supported and paid subscription versions, is to cooperate, rather than compete, with global platforms and local streamers.

“New original projects will enter the scene soon, including the ones we are planning to coproduce with other partners with possible division of territories,” said Riashyn.

“Our target audience are descendants from the former Soviet Union, members of their families and friends living all over the world. Key markets are North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Israel and parts of Asia.”

Star Media is working with US-based streaming tech firm OTTera to launch Lava, which will feature content dubbed and subtitled in up to eight languages, including English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

The move comes after Star Media, which Riashyn founded in 2006, has previously targeted Russian-speaking audiences outside of Russia on YouTube with its own channel.

Star Media Group CEO Maria Grechishnikova said: “Seeing the success of our historical and other projects on the leading foreign VoD platforms and YouTube, we understand that other audiences are also interested in our products.”

As C21 recently reported, international business is growing for Russian producers and distributors as interest in so-called ‘Moscow noir’ among streamers continues to grow, with Netflix ordering a lavish local drama.

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