Spotify will suspend services in Russia following new media laws

Spotify said Friday it would suspend its streaming service in Russia in response to the country’s new media law.

The audio streaming platform closed its office in Russia indefinitely earlier this month, describing it as Moscow’s “unpleasant attack on Ukraine.”

Russia’s new law makes it illegal to report any incidents that could disrespect the Russian military.

“Spotify continues to believe that it is important to continue our service in Russia to provide reliable, independent news and information from the region,” Spotify said in a statement. “Unfortunately, recent legislation further restricts access to information, excludes independent expression and criminalizes certain types of news, putting the safety of Spotify staff and even our listeners at risk.”

The service is expected to end in early April, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Another streaming service, Netflix, suspended service in Russia earlier this month, saying it had no plans to add state-owned channels to the Russian service, despite a rule that it should.

Thomson Reuters 2022

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