Spotify has shut down its office in Russia and removed material from state-backed outlets RT and Sputnik, according to Variety. Other content from organizations affiliated with the Russian government is also being restricted in terms of discoverability. According to Reuters, RT and Sputnik’s content has been deleted in numerous regions but not in Russia.
Spotify shuts down its Russian office
Spotify, by closing down its office in Russia, is no longer in compliance with a Russian regulation from July 2021 that requires foreign social media firms with more than 500,000 monthly users to have a local branch in the country. This means Spotify might be banned in Russia, Reuters reports.
For the time being, Spotify claims it will continue to operate in Russia, according to Variety: “We think it’s critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information.”
Spotify said in a statement that:
“Our first priority over the past week has been the safety of our employees and to ensure that Spotify continues to serve as an important source of global and regional news at a time when access to information is more important than ever. We are deeply shocked and saddened by the unprovoked attack on Ukraine.”
The platform has introduced a new tool to direct users to reliable news sources.
Spotify began providing its music streaming service in Russia and Ukraine in July 2020, together with 10 additional European countries.