It’s Really This Easy to Illegally Stream Spotify In Russia…

Spotify isn’t licensed to operate in Russia.  So why is it so easy to use Spotify in Russia?

Spotify isn’t legally licensed for music fans in Russia, thanks to a number of complicated licensing circumstances.  That includes a complex rights environment, though last we heard, Spotify opted to pull out of Russia last year based on economic instability.  That sounds fair: after all, country launches are expensive and time-consuming for streaming services, and Spotify has yet to launch anywhere in Africa, not to mention critical Asian countries like China, Japan, and Korea (here’s a list of currently-available, licensed countries).

Now, fresh questions are surfacing over whether fans in supposedly ‘unavailable’ countries are actually accessing the service with ease.  Just this morning, a DMN reader living in Russia showed us just how easy it is to access Spotify in Russia.


Take a look:


Basically, this is dead simple.  Just go to or, then pick your favorite artist, song, or playlist and go.  It’s all right there, ready to go for anyone with a broadband connection.

All of which raises the next question: is anyone getting paid for this?  After all, if Spotify isn’t licensed in this territory, none of these royalties are being collected by Russian labels, publishers, PROs, or other royalty groups.  And if they are getting paid, who’s collecting on those plays?

Those questions now apply to other unlicensed countries, where the exact same workarounds might be happening.  So far, we’ve only seen this in action from Spotify in Russia (but please share if you’re in another unlicensed part of the world).

And, for additional proof that this user is in a ‘blocked’ country, here’s the screenshot of the email itself (DMN is in California).



Cover image of the Kremlin shot by John Perry, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).


19 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    This sounds like a VPN or proxy of some kind. Same thing happened with Netflix for a while. You could access Netflix with a VPN server located in another country, which allowed people to access content that was licensed in that country. Netflix eventually started blocking people who tried to access their service with a VPN. Spotify should probably do the same.

    I suspect the artists and publishers who control the rights to the music in the territory where the proxy server is located would get paid.

    • Bridges not Walls

      If this were a proxy Google Maps would show a different location

      • Anonymous

        Huh… maybe Spotify just forgot to turn on region blocking for those particular URLs.

  2. 008

    You can use Spotify, Pandora and any other online service from any country. All those restrictions are complete bullshit. So is this article.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Not true. Pandora doesn’t work overseas. I’ve used Spotify in unlicensed countries, but only with a US-based account, so it was legit (I think it stops working after a while, so it’s for travel essentially). But I’ve never tried a direct attempt like this on a restricted country like Russia.

  3. joventay thomas

    this shit works in America too I’m in Spotify for free right now.

  4. $$$

    Probably screwed up Geo-Restrictions. If so, any streams in that territory are unlicensed …opening the door to a massive lawsuit. Spotify needs to start paying one way or the other. $$$.

  5. IDecember

    That’s bullshit. You won’t be able to use Spotify without a Spotify account and swedes won’t let you register in Russia since it’s unlicensed. Either a VPN or a proxy.

  6. F *** IDecember

    To enter Spotify I used Facebook account without specifying the place of residence. My account Spotify contains the USA country. My friend on Facebook was “Gothenburg (Sweden)” is listed city of residence, but he has never been there, and lives in Russia))) In his account Spotify contains USA TOO!!! Spotify has errors in the work. Your arguments – shit as you are.

    • IDecember

      First spit my shit when wanting to speak to me, LOL. You’ll still need either a VPN or a proxy even in this case since Spotify only allows to be “abroad” for 2 weeks.

      • F *** IDecember

        your shitty assertion such as “it can’t be, because there can never be”

  7. Nicky Knight's thoughts

    Well, one of the benefits if Spotify wasn’t available is that hopefully music consumers will buy tracks from iTunes, even if they do only sell for a few rubles ..

    However, it looks like piracy and wall jumping into Spotify may take some of the icing off the cake..

  8. Kelly Miami

    Wow, you sir are a beautiful soul! I had always been trying to get on spotify through the app itself on my comp, but just got into it through Firefox smoothly – many, many thanks! Cause I ain’t ever gonna pay $5 or $10 a month 😛

  9. Mike Smart

    I was in Kazan, Russia, for Victory Day, 2017. I am from Canada. My Soundhound app worked, as did Spotify. I did use my mobile data, as Rogers “Roam Like Home” was available there, for $10/24 hour period. Is that why my apps worked there? I was in Russia, but my phone was still in Canada due to my using mobile roaming. Thank you.