Warner Music Group says it is suspending operations in Russia

1 min read
Sony Corp's logo is seen at its news conference in Tokyo

– Warner Music Group said Thursday it is suspending operations in Russia, as all three major labels have issued a call for an end to the violence in Ukraine.

Warner Music said it would halt investments and development of projects, promotional and marketing activities and manufacturing of all physical products. That means it will stop signing new artists or striking partnerships with producers or labels, according to a person familiar with the matter.

“We will continue to fulfill our agreed upon obligations to our people, artists, and songwriters as best we can as the situation unfolds,” Warner Music said in a statement. “We remain committed to supporting the humanitarian relief efforts in the region.”

Universal Music Group and Sony Music also suspended operations in Russia, as did the streaming service Spotify .

The music industry once considered Russia a promising emerging market, with streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify attracting millions of subscribers in a country once dominated by piracy.

Russia ranked among the top 20 global markets, with recorded music sales reaching $199 million in 2020, with a growth rate of 30%, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski; Editing by Nick Zieminski)