The eyes of the world continue to be on Ukraine, and the measures being taken by governments, sports and media organisations and individual companies alike in response to Russia’s invasion of the country. Yesterday, we heard more on what two of the biggest music companies are doing: Live Nation and Spotify.
“Live Nation joins the world in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We will not promote shows in Russia, and we will not do business with Russia,” said a statement from the live giant. “We’re in the process of reviewing our vendors so we can cease work with any and all Russian-based suppliers.”
Spotify, meanwhile, has closed its Russian offices “indefinitely” according to Variety, although for now it is resisting calls for it to shut down its streaming service in the country. “We think it’s critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information,” said a spokesperson.
Spotify launched its service in Russia in July 2020, but only recently opened a representative office there, bowing to new rules requiring international technology companies with more than 500,000 users to localise their operations in Russia. Spotify has also followed other digital services this week in removing content from Russian state-backed media firms RT and Sputnik.
The topic of music companies, their Russian offices and Ukraine was raised in our Music Ally Focus podcast earlier this week by Music Export Ukraine co-founder Dartsya Tarkovska.
“Even when it comes to streaming services or music distribution companies, some of them are still working with Russia and having their head offices in Moscow, and they treat Ukraine as just one of the countries the Russian office is cooperating with,” she said.
“So this is something that the music industry in Ukraine is trying to address and change as soon as possible. Even if the streaming services or distributors are not ready to create independent head offices in Ukraine, we would rather prefer to work with any Eastern European offices than keep this cooperation with Russia. Really, I think the bridges will be burned there.”