The Swedish audio streaming platform and media giant cites Russia’s ‘fake news’ law as the cause why.
Spotify has stopped its streaming service in Russia due to a new law passed that makes it unlawful to discredit the Russian military’s actions against its neighbouring country Ukraine. Alongside great services, companies and organisations taking out their resources from Russia, Spotify is going the extra mile to make a severe statement against the limitation of free speech and press within Russia’s media space.
Earlier this month, the company shut its office indefinitely in response to what it termed Russia’s “unprovoked attack on Ukraine.” Spotify Technology SA stated 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 anticipated to end in early April. How the service will handle refunds to its customers is yet to be disclosed. When it closed its office, Spotify cited employee safety and its role as a news provider to guarantee that Spotify continues to serve as a vital source of global and regional news at a time when access to information is more essential than ever. Spotify also claims it has reviewed its content and limited 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 globe.