Downtown Music and Kobalt suspend operations in Russia


The trickle of music companies pulling out of Russia in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine is becoming a flood. Yesterday’s announcements from Sony Music, WMG and FUGA were swiftly followed by two more companies revealing their plans.

Kobalt is suspending all business activity in Russia, and in a statement said that it had “voiced our support for any decisions that would cut off the local Russian collection society, RAO, from the network of collection societies”.

Meanwhile, Downtown Music has also suspended all business with Russia. “This means we will not distribute any new music to Russian DSPs including Yandex, VKontakte and Zvooq, we will terminate all local music publishing royalty collection activities and we will exclude Russia from all worldwide synchronization licenses,” announced CEO Andrew Bergman in an email to staff.

Downtown, too, is “encouraging all international music organizations to join in solidarity with Ukraine”.

Written by: Stuart Dredge