Turkey grants Spotify license, issues warning over content regulation

Turkey’s television watchdog has issued a license to operate for online music stream giant Spotify, but warned the platform to regulate its content in accordance with the country’s laws, Birgün newspaper reported on Friday.

“With the granted license, this platform must regulate its content in line with our laws,’’ Ebubekir Şahin, the president of theRadio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), said, referring to Law 6112 on the Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises.

According to an amendment made to Turkey’s social media law in July,  all broadcasters that want to provide radio, television, and other types of broadcasting services on the internet, including on-demand services in Turkey, will have to first obtain a licence from RTÜK and comply with its guidelines. Moreover, social media platforms with more than one million daily users are required to open offices in the country, while facing stiff penalties for non-compliance with the law.

With its new license, Spotify will be able to operate in Turkey legally for 10 years, Şahin said, adding that the platform must comply with broadcasting principles “indicated explicitly in the law numbered 6112.’’

“If they conduct broadcasting outside this, we will do what is necessary as the RTÜK,” Şahin said.

Spotify applied for an operating license in Turkey in line with RTÜK orders in October, after the media watch released a statement giving the music streaming service 72 hours to submit an application or face an access ban.