Spotify drops paid subscriptions in Russia

The new measures have come into place as sanctions have made processing payments in the country impossible

Spotify has said that its paid subscription service will no longer be available to users in Russia.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Spotify has shuttered its Moscow office in response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Confirming its Moscow office would be closed “indefinitely”, the streaming platform said they were “providing individual support to our personnel” in Moscow, as well as their “global community of Ukrainian employees”.

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The new measures have come into place as sanctions have made processing payments in the country impossible.

“Due to new restrictions introduced by major payment providers, payment processing is not currently possible for the majority of Premium users in Russia,” a Spotify spokesman told AFP (via Geo News).

They added that paid premium accounts “will be cancelled if a recurring payment fails and the account will then be automatically moved to our free service”. The company said it had also “paused all advertising campaigns running in Russia.”

In addition to restricting the discoverability of Russian state-affiliated media, the platform previously removed all content from Kremlin-backed outlets RT and Sputnik that was hosted on Spotify in the European Union and other markets.

Spotify has stopped short of shutting off access for their Russian users, saying they believe it’s “critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information”.

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Spotify is just one of many Western companies who have taken action following the invasion of Ukraine. Apple halted all product sales in Russia, with the company saying in a statement that it was “deeply concerned” with the invasion and stood with those “suffering as a result of the violence”.

Many musicians have also shared messages of support and solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Last week, a benefit show took place in New York, with Patti SmithGogol BordelloThe Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, Suzanne Vega and more in attendance.

You can donate here to the Red Cross to help those affected by the conflict, or via a number of other ways through Choose Love.

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