Spotify has suspended its streaming service in Russia due to a new law passed that makes it illegal to discredit the Russian military’s actions against its neighbouring country Ukraine.
Alongside major services, companies and organisations pulling their resources from Russia, Spotify is going the extra mile to make a stern statement against the restriction of free speech and press within Russia’s media space.
Earlier this month, the company closed its office indefinitely in response to what it termed Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. Spotify Technology SA said today that it’s getting out of Russia, citing the new law.
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.
The service is expected to end in early April. How the service will handle refunds to its customers is yet to be detailed. When it closed its office, Spotify cited employee safety and its role as a news provider to ensure that Spotify continues to serve as an important source of global and regional news at a time when access to information is more important than ever.
Spotify also claims it has reviewed its content and restricted the discoverability of shows owned and operated by Russian state-affiliated media. It also removed all content from state media RT and Sputnik from Spotify in the European Union, the United States and other markets around the world.