Spotify has taken several steps in response to Russia’s military attack on Ukraine, including closing its offices in Russia “indefinitely.”
The company is not disabling access to its service within Russia. “We think it’s critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information,” a Spotify representative said in a statement provided to Variety.
Like other internet platforms, Spotify has restricted the discoverability of Russian state-affiliated content on the streaming audio service. In addition, the company has removed all content from Kremlin-backed outlets RT and Sputnik from Spotify’s platform.
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the unprovoked attack on Ukraine,” the Spotify rep said. “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.”
The audio-streaming giant said it is providing individual support to Spotify employees in the region as well as to “our global community of Ukrainian employees.”
Since the Russian hostilities began, Spotify said, its teams have reviewed thousands of pieces of content. On Wednesday, the company launched a new guide on the Spotify platform to provide users around the world with access to localized “trusted news” sources (available at this link). In the U.S., the section links to daily news podcasts including those from BBC News, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian, as well as podcast explainers about the Russia-Ukraine war and the history of Ukraine.
In addition, Spotify is matching employee donations two-to-one to support local humanitarian efforts in Ukraine amid the Russian attack. “We are exploring additional steps that we can take and will continue to do what is in the best interest of our employees and our listeners,” the company spokesperson said.
Spotify launched service in Russia and Ukraine in July 2020, along with 10 other European countries.