Spotify suspending service in Russia

Spotify suspending service in Russia

After suspending their paid subscription service in the country earlier this month — its ad-supported free service was left available — Spotify announced Friday that it will “fully suspend our service in Russia.” 

The Sweden-based streaming service cited a new law in Russia that continued restricting access to information and eliminating free expression. Spotify says the policies put the company’s employees and listeners at risk. 

“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,” a Spotify spokesperson 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 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.”

Spotify is mainly known as a music streaming platform. But the company overtook Apple Podcasts as the most listened to podcast distributor in the U.S. last year. 

The company expects to have fully suspended its service by early April. 

Spotify joins an increasing list of tech companies pulling out of Russia. Apple halted all product sales in the country earlier this month, and Microsoft did the same on March 4. 

Russia’s music business continues to take a hit, as record labels Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music have ceased operations.