Spotify completely withdraws its services from Russia over censorship laws
Due to a newly passed rule that makes it illegal to defame the Russian military’s operations against Ukraine’s neighbor, Spotify has banned its streaming service in Russia.
Spotify goes above and beyond in its opposition to Russian media restrictions on free speech and the press, joining other big services, corporations, and organizations in moving their resources out of the country.
In reaction to Russia’s “unprovoked war on Ukraine,” the corporation shut down its office indefinitely earlier this month. Spotify Technology SA announced today that it will no longer be operating in Russia, citing a new rule that prohibits foreign investment.
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“Spotify has continued to believe that it’s critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to provide trusted, independent news and information from the region,” Spotify said in a statement. “Unfortunately, recently enacted legislation further restricting access to information, eliminating free expression, and criminalizing certain types of news puts the safety of Spotify’s employees and the possibility of even our listeners at risk.”
Early in April, the service will come to an end. It’s not clear yet how the service will manage refunds for clients. During the time when access to information is more critical than ever, Spotify cited employee safety and its role as a news provider when it closed its headquarters in New York City. It is also claimed that Spotify has evaluated its material and reduced the discoverability of shows owned and run by Russian state media. Spotify in the EU, the US, and other markets across the world also banned all content from state-run media outlets RT and Sputnik.