Spotify is the latest company to suspend operations in Russia. The audio-streaming app cited the country’s new media law designed to stifle accurate reporting of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“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 possibly even our listeners at risk,” a Spotify spokesperson told The Verge.
The new law states that it is illegal to report any event that could discredit Russia’s military. The Russian military is widely reported to be committing crimes against Ukrainian civilians since the beginning of the war.
The company had already suspended its subscription service to users in the country, resulting in the loss of about 1.5 million paying customers. However, Spotify’s basic service was still available with the aim of providing free-flowing information to users.
“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,” the spokesperson said.
Some sources indicate that Spotify will suspend its services beginning April. Companies that have already left Russia include Apple, Samsung, Netflix, Microsoft, LG, Google and Amazon among others.