Several days following its announcement on putting a halt to any new acquisitions and projects in Russia and the Balkan States, streaming media platform Netflix issued a statement regarding the suspension of its services in Russia. Executives from the platform stated that they made the decision made based on current onsite circumstances within the region.
Just last week, Netflix declared an immediate pause in all of its collaborations with Russian film and television outfits, namely the National Media Group. Russia’s National Media Group is an umbrella organization for several dozen television networks, media production companies, and other content developers within the country.
Netflix actually formalized a partnership with the group back in 2020, but recent events have prompted an immediate termination of the agreement. It is not known at this point as to whether or not this is just a temporary thing.
Netflix executives have also made it clear that the company will not abide by any laws or ordinances forcing it to carry at least 20 native channels that produce and distribute audiovisual propaganda.
So Much for Six Years
Netflix has been offering its streaming media service to Russian audiences since 2016, but the nation itself is a fairly small market compared to other parts of the world. Based on the most recent estimates, Netflix has around a million subscribers within the country.
Even without its own move to halt its services in Russia, Netflix already expected to lose between 100,000 and 1 million subscribers. This was chalked up to the difficulty in collecting monthly fees, as leading payment processors Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, along with a number of leading payment gateways, have ceased operations in the country in light of the Ukraine crisis.
The service’s closure in Russia also means that it will not be processing new subscriptions within the country for an indefinite period.
Not the First, Certainly Not the Last
Netflix is far from the only global media platform that has stopped its operations in Russia following that country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Chinese-founded social media platform TikTok also released a statement regarding a ban on all live streaming and content creation in Russia, following President Vladimir Putin’s new regulations for criminalizing any material he personally considers fake news.
Tech giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft have also suspended their retail operations in Russia.
Russia has earned the ire of the global community for its punitive invasion of neighboring Ukraine, thus the imposition of economic and diplomatic sanctions against the country from various quarters. The sanctions have also been expanded to include allied nations like Belarus.