Spotify to suspend service in Russia due to new media law

Earlier this month, Russia blocked Facebook and Twitter after the platforms placed restrictions on Russia’s state-backed media outlets. The Meta-owned platforms Facebook and Instagram were later banned by Russia stating that they were “carrying out extremist activities.” This ban was issued after Meta confirmed it was relaxing its policies on hate speech towards Russian soldiers and Vladimir Putin in relation to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Now, According to a Reuters report, Spotify will be shutting down its streaming service in Russia in response to the country’s new media law. Previously, the audio streaming platform closed its office in Russia indefinitely citing what it described as Moscow’s “unprovoked attack on Ukraine.”

On the current development, the streaming platform stated that “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.”

According to a knowledgeable source on the matter, the audio streaming platform is expected to end its service in Russia in early April.

Another streaming service, Netflix, also pulled its services from Russia earlier this month after stating that it had no plans to add state-run channels to its Russian service. For those unaware, Russia’s communications regulator announced earlier in January that it will mandate foreign streaming services to also offer 20 local federal television channels to their userbase.


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