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Live Nation and Spotify Cease Business in Russia

The music industry titans have both condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine

live nation spotify cancel business russia ukraine war
Photo via Live Nation
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    Live Nation and Spotify have separately announced their plans to indefinitely cease conducting business in Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

    “Live Nation joins the world in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the company said in a statement shared with live music-focused publication IQ. “We will not promote shows in Russia, and we will not do business with Russia. We’re in the process of reviewing our vendors so we can cease work with any and all Russian-based suppliers.”

    As for Spotify, Variety reports that the audio streaming company is “indefinitely” closing its offices in Russia. All content from Kremlin-based outlets RT and Sputnik has also been removed from the platform, but the service remains accessible in Russia.

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    “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the unprovoked attack on Ukraine,” a Spotify rep said in a statement. “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 claims its teams have reviewed thousands of pieces of content since Russia’s attack on Ukraine began last week, an improvement from the company’s delayed response to criticism over the COVID-19 misinformation peddled on podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience. On Wednesday (March 2nd), Spotify launched a hub on the platform highlighting “trusted news” sources, including podcasts from BBC News, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian.

    Live Nation and Spotify follow in the footsteps of Apple, which has paused product sales in Russia, and musicians like Russian rapper Oxxxymiron, who canceled six sold-out shows. Artists following suit include Green Day, Bring Me the Horizon, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Franz Ferdinand, Yungblud, and many more.

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    Meanwhile, Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, and Paramount have all paused film releases in Russia and Netflix recently announced it would ignore a Russian law requiring media platforms to carry state propaganda channels.

    Russian forces gained control of their first major Ukrainian city on Wednesday, capturing the Black Sea port of Kherson. President Vladimir V. Putin continues bombarding the capital of Kyiv as his troops attempt to capture the government.

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