Audio streaming platform Spotify has announced that it is suspending services in Russia as a response to the country’s newly imposed media rules.
“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.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law in early March that will criminalize anyone sharing “deliberately false information about the actions of Russian military personnel in Ukraine.”
Following the bill’s introduction, multiple media outlets like CNN, The New York Times, and Bloomberg announced plans to suspend reporting activities in the country.
Spotify, which launched in Russia in 2020, had shut down its offices in Moscow earlier this month due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Since then, the company has been unable to sell premium subscriptions due to western sanctions and subsequent restrictions placed by payment providers.
Among global video streaming platforms, the Walt Disney Company plans to halt the release of new movies in Russia while also shutting down operations in the country. Netflix has also suspended services as well as halted future projects and acquisitions. Russia accounts for 1 million out of the platform’s 220 million subscribers worldwide.
A Russian court has banned Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, saying that these sites foment “extremist activities.