Netflix is shutting down its streaming service in Russia the company confirmed to CNBC. A step that Netflix could have taken sooner.
It was only around 11 days after the invasion of Ukraine that Netflix decided to stop its streaming service in Russia. The company could certainly have implemented this “sanction” sooner, since Russia, with around 1 million subscribers, is not a market that is critical to success. A Netflix spokesman told CNBC, “Given the local circumstances, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia.”
The decision to withdraw from the Russian market might have been made without an attack on Ukraine. Because according to the Russian Vitirina TV law, streaming services that have more than 100,000 subscribers must include around 20 free state broadcasters in their offer. Certainly a no-go for the US company.
Netflix only started operations in Russia about a year ago and has no employees in the country. Four in-house productions, such as an adaptation of Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”, are being paused. Whether the projects will ever resume is certainly related to a renewed Netflix launch in Russia.