Spotify has halted streaming in Russia due to security concerns
Spotify has announced its withdrawal from Russia, citing new legislation that threatens jail time if “false news” about the country’s military is spread.
Fears for the safety of its personnel and maybe even our fans prompted the music streaming service to cease its free service.
Spotify shut down its Russian branch in March. However, it stated that it wished to keep its service activities to offer the country independent news.
“We continue to believe that it is essential and crucial to strive to keep our service operational in Russia to broadcast reliable, independent news and information from the region, Spotify said in a statement.”
Unfortunately, recently implemented laws restricting access to information, eliminating free expression, and criminalising some forms of news put Spotify’s employees’ safety, as well as the safety of our listeners, in jeopardy.
The publication of material deemed to be “fake news” concerning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could result in severe prison sentences under new laws governing what media organisations can broadcast or post online.
Following the bill’s passing, Bloomberg, the New York Times, and CNN were among the news organisations that declared plans to stop reporting from the country earlier this month.
TikTok disabled live broadcasting and new content on the platform after its introduction.
Spotify is known for its music streaming service, which launched in Russia in 2020. However, as part of its business strategy, it has jumped headfirst into podcasting, amassing a sizable library of news and current affairs broadcasts.
It has been unable to sell its premium memberships in Ukraine since the conflict began due to payment provider restrictions imposed as a result of international sanctions.
BP, McDonald’s, and Netflix are among the hundreds of major companies that have abandoned or reduced their activities in the country as a result of this new action.