Universal Music Group suspends all operations in Russia

Universal Music Group, the world’s largest rightsholder, has suspended all operations in Russia and has closed its offices in the country.

The move, announced Tuesday (March 8), comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its 13th day.

Over the past two weeks, over 200 multi-national companies have boycotted the Russian market in protest of its military action in Ukraine.

Some of those firms include Mastercard, Visa, Apple, Ikea and Samsung.

Corporations including Coca Cola an McDonalds also announced today that they will be suspending their operations in Russia.

In the music and entertainment industries, Live Nation announced that it will not be doing business in/with Russia, while Netflix has pulled its service.

TikTok has also scaled back its platform in the country.

Additionally, today, UK collection society PRS for Music, which represents the rights of over 160,000 songwriters/composers and music publishers around the world, revealed that it has “formally suspended, with immediate effect,” its rights representation agreement with its Russia-based counterpart, the Russian Authors’ Society RAO.

Spotify announced last week that it would be shutting its offices in Russia “indefinitely” but plans to keep its service “operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information”.

All three majors have also made donations to organizations focusing on the people of Ukraine.

“We urge an end to the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible.”

Universal Music Group

In a statement issued today (March 8), UMG said: “Effective immediately, we are suspending all operations in Russia and closing our offices there.

“We urge an end to the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible.

“We are adhering to international sanctions and, along with our employees and artists, have been working with groups from a range of countries (including the US, UK, Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary) to support humanitarian relief efforts to bring urgent aid to refugees in the region.”Music Business Worldwide

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