Music Streaming App, Spotify Leaves Russia, Says Laws Restrict Freedom of Speech

Music Streaming App, Spotify Leaves Russia, Says Laws Restrict Freedom of Speech

  • The music streaming app, Spotify has announced its decision to quit Russia as it cites restriction on freedom of speech
  • The company said in statement that recent legislation in Russia puts its company and listeners at risk
  • Spotify joins hordes of Western companies deserting the Russian market as the country continues its invasion in Ukraine

The music streaming platform, Spotify has joined hordes of western companies deserting the Russian market.

The company said on Friday, March 25, 2022, that it is leaving the country because recent legislation restricting news platforms could put its employees and audiences at risk. It will suspend operations by the end of April.

Sportify leaves Russia with other US companies
Sportify leaves Russia with other US companies Credit: picture alliance
Source: Getty Images

Why western media is cutting off services from Russia

The streamer’s plans to leave Russia highlights the balance that media companies from the western need to strike as they want to provide news to Russians while they face great obstacles concerning the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and its business climate.

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The music streaming platform is renowned for and also hosts and distributes a range of podcats laced with political content.

Why Spotify is leaving

It once stopped giving premium subscriptions in Russia but its service was still available.

Earlier in the month, it said it would close one of its offices in the country and took down Russian state media content.

A statement by the company said that it has continued to believe that it’s very essential to try to keep its operations in Russia in order to provide reliable and independent news and information in the region.

The company stated that recently-enacted laws restrict access to information, destroy free speech and criminalise certain types of news putting its audience at risk.

Tech firms exiting

Apple, Google and other tech companies have scaled back operations and stopped giving products and services in Russia. Banks and retail businesses like MacDonald’s and Starbucks have stopped operations in the country since it invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

But the decision by Spotify is hinged more on Russia's recent clampdown on news and other media that could impact negatively on the Russian war in Ukraine.

Many English-language news outlets have looked at how to keep reporters and keep staff safe in the country as an answer to the fake news law that bans independent and unbiased reporting.

Major food and beverage companies, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s and Starbucks desert Russia has reported that Pressure is mounting on the Russians as more multinational companies desert the Russian market in protests to Putin’s troop’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

The latest to join the list of companies leaving the country include PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Starbucks, all of which are US companies, according to a report by CNBC.

The companies each announced on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, that they are suspending businesses in Russia after that country’s aggression in Ukraine.


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