Spotify has announced its decision to remove all RT and Sputnik content as well as shutter its Russian office in a response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
As reported by Variety, Spotify is closing its doors to its Russian office “indefinitely.” The company is also making efforts to distance itself from Russia by removing Kremlin-backed outlets RT and Sputnik from its platform. Spotify confirmed that it will not be removing access to its services within Russia. Instead, the discoverability of Russian state-affiliated content will be restricted.
In a statement, a Spotify representative said the following to Variety:
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the unprovoked attack on Ukraine. 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.”
Spotify’s actions follow a swell of other tech companies placing pressure on Russia by restricting access and services. For instance, Apple announced that it will be halting the sale of products within the company. It was also reported that Netflix is refusing to add state-approved channels added to its service within Russia. Google, Meta, and other tech companies have also restricted the discoverability of RT and Sputnik outside of the country to minimize the spread of propaganda.
Spotify has only been available in Russia since 2020. As the situation between Russia and Ukraine has been escalating, the company has been reviewing thousands of pieces of content in order to ensure it meets the guidelines in place. Spotify has also launched a new public guide of how the company hopes to provide only “trusted news” sources to global listeners.