The hit streaming service and company Spotify has shut down their office space earlier this month in Russia. They suspended the Russian services due to censorship laws. According to Pitchfork, a spokesperson for Spotify has stated their professional relationship with Russia to provide trusted and informational news in the region, but “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.”
Although Spotify is known for their streaming services, the site also hosts copious podcasts that feature many political contents. Following the companies decision to close the Russian office space, the site is set to completely suspend services for early April. This also means closing all Spotify premium accounts. Spotify’s CFO Paul Vogel spoke on a Morgan Stanley’s 2022 Technology, Media and Telecom Conference on March 10 to state that 1.5 million Russian Spotify premium account members will be lost from the news on the attacks. A spokesperson also added that Russia makes up for 1% of Spotify’s revenue so no extreme loss will happen from this decision.
According to CNBC, the decision to pull services is based on the Western Media’s strike to provide the citizens of Russia with up-to-date information, especially regarding Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine along with the county’s track of the business environments.
Other technology-related companies, such as the giants Apple and Google, have also restricted Russian citizens to their products. Food industries such as McDonalds and Starbucks have completely paused operation in spite of the recent attacks on Ukraine.