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Spotify to shut down service in Russia due to censorship laws

By | Published on Monday 28 March 2022


Spotify has announced that it is, in fact, shutting down its service in Russia. Although the streaming firm closed its offices in the country following the invasion of Ukraine last month – and subsequently confirmed it was no longer selling advertising or subscriptions in the Russian market – the original plan was for the service to still be available there.

The rationale for that decision was that it was important to continue to allow Russians to access international news and current affairs content from within its podcast library. However, it now says, the recent ramping up of draconian censorship laws in Russia make that ambition unviable.

A spokesperson for the streaming firm explained on Friday: “Spotify has continued to believe that it’s critically important to try and keep our service operational in Russia to provide trusted, independent news and information in the region”.

But, they went on, “unfortunately recently enacted legislation [in Russia] further restricting access to information, eliminating free expression, and criminalising certain types of news puts the safety of Spotify’s employees and possibly even our listeners at risk. After carefully considering our options and the current circumstances, we have come to the difficult decision to fully suspend our service in Russia”.

As a result Spotify is likely to be come unavailable in Russia from next week.