YouTube, Google Play suspend payment-based services in Russia

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Youtube logo and Russian flag
FILE PHOTO: Youtube logo is placed on a Russian flag in this illustration picture taken February 26, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 10, 2022

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s YouTube and Google Play store are suspending all payment-based services in Russia, including subscriptions, as Western sanctions start to pose banking challenges in the country.

Google will also pause ads for advertisers based in Russia across its properties and networks globally, the company said. This is in addition to the company’s recent suspension of ads in Russia.

Google and YouTube had earlier stopped selling online advertising in Russia following similar pauses by Twitter Inc and Snap Inc after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“As a follow-up, we’re now extending this pause to all our monetization features, including YouTube Premium, Channel Memberships, Super Chat and Merchandise, for viewers in Russia,” YouTube said in a statement on Thursday.

YouTube channels in Russia will still be able to generate revenue from viewers outside of Russia, which include Super Chat and merchandise sales. Free apps on Google Play also remain available in Russia, according to a company support website.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave in Oakland, California and Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Krishna Chandra Eluri)