Yandex company blog

Turkish Digital Music Hackathon Helps Spur Innovation in Yandex Music

At the end of July, Yandex Music sponsored the Online Music Hackathon. The event was hosted by one of Turkey’s most innovative universities, Özyeğin University, and saw more than 50 current and former students develop creative predictions for the future direction of how we will consume and find music online. Experienced Yandex team leads, project managers and products owners both mentored the students through the hackathon and judged the highly innovative prototypes they produced.   

The Online Music Hackathon focused on social music discovery and interaction, brought together engineering, marketing, business, social science, architecture, and design students and graduates spend 72 hours developing their ideas into practical solutions. With the help of Yandex mentors, each of the 13 participating teams delivered an exciting product concept ready for further testing and validation in real life. 

This hackathon allowed me to understand how broad the music industry actually is, and also made me think it would be enjoyable to shape my design career through music. – Kumsal Kurt, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Department of Industrial Design, Özyeğin University

Özyeğin University, a young and vibrant research university with a strong focus on engineering and modern technology, was a natural partner for Yandex. In addition to meeting many talented and passionate individuals and creating boundary-pushing products, Yandex gained valuable local perspectives on the future of online music discovery and found new opportunities for further innovation and collaboration with a community of impressive young professionals. 

The winning team demonstrated their knowledge and talent by developing a prototype for how music streaming can be combined with users' location to provide new ways to discover music and interact with others. The two runners-up created a novel way of sharing music with friends, and innovatively described a social listening experience that could be shared with others in real time. Two additional projects worthy of special mention included a solution for discovering and supporting local independent musicians and a game-like app for sharing and finding music based on location. 

“The Online Music Hackathon by Yandex was an amazing opportunity for our students, especially during these difficult times. Bringing our alumni into the competition brought additional perspectives to the event. We are proud that Özyeğin University was selected to host this hackathon that connected our students and alumni with Yandex experts. It was a great learning experience for all participants. We look forward to further partnership opportunities with Yandex,” says Melda Çakıcı Alpaydın, Director of Sectoral Education & Professional Development at Özyeğin University.

“Open innovation and collaborative product prototyping with external communities are required to create relevant digital services. This is especially important when operating in global markets. Thanks to Özyeğin University, we have established a great R&D collaboration between Yandex and the extremely talented students and graduates in Turkey. This will help us innovate our existing products and create new meaningful experiences for music lovers across different cultures,” says Aleksas Drozdovskis, Chief Strategy Officer and Global Product R&D, Yandex Media Services.

Yandex Music has always been committed to staying ahead of the curve. Launched 10 years ago, Russia's most popular audio streaming service is now available in 14 countries and makes personalized recommendations of its 65 million music tracks and 100,000 podcast episodes to its 20 million users per month.