Spotify reportedly scraps Russian launch plans

The music streamer Spotify was all set to plow into the Russian market, having poached a former Google exec, Alexander Kubaneishvili, to lead the offensive. However, that plan has gone out the window for now.

According to Russian broadcaster RBC, Kubaneishvili announced the pause on Monday, citing Russia’s political and economic situation, as well as pending Russian legislation about regulating the internet. Spotify will not launch in the country “for the foreseeable future,” he said, adding that he does not work for the company anymore.

According to TASS, the firm is also shutting down its Russian office in its infancy. RBC reported that Spotify’s Russian launch had already been delayed because it had failed to agree partnerships with local mobile operators, though TASS indicated some progress had been made with Vimpelcom. I asked Spotify for comment on all this, but the company refused to provide any.

Russia’s ruble is having a very rough time, largely due to the falling oil price and sanctions related to the country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine and annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

Meanwhile, the country has also been pumping out various new laws designed to clamp down on internet freedom. The most relevant is probably Russia’s local data storage mandate, through which it intends to force web service providers servicing Russians to store their personal data in local data centers. This rule is set to come into force in 2016.

Six ways in which Andrew Keen is wrong about the internet

In his new book “The Internet Is Not The Answer,” author Andrew Keen continues a theme he introduced in previous books, about how the internet is a net negative for the economy and for society. But I think he is far too negative

In mobile, postpaid connections rise while prepaid declines

Over the last year, postpaid mobile subscriptions have been booming, while prepaid — once the strongest area of mobile growth in the U.S. — has been slowly dropping off, according to communications market researcher ShareTracker.

According to ShareTracker, postpaid net additions among the mobile carriers has increased 156 percent between 2013 and 2014. Postpaid used to mean contracts, but today it’s any manner of plan where you pay after your billing cycle. Meanwhile prepaid — service where you buy voice, SMS and data ahead of time  — saw an average decline of 35 percent, ShareTracker found.

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As you might expect, prepaid and postpaid tend to track the U.S. economy. During the recession, prepaid growth jumped dramatically, but now that the economy has recovered, postpaid is returning to growth.

Why data centers have a big impact on the economy

Data Centers have come under attack as terminally wasteful and “dirty” enterprises that offer little in the way of jobs. Joe Weinman, senior VP at Telx, disputes that, and says in fact they indirectly employee countless thousands across many industries.

Airbnb, Coursera and Uber: The rise of the disruption economy

We’re used to how the social web has disrupted media, but that same wave is moving through other industries, driven by startups like Airbnb, Coursera and Uber — and while regulators and entrenched industries are trying to fight it, the trend behind that wave is unstoppable.

TeliaSonera cuts 2,000 jobs as mobile market stagnates

TeliaSonera’s revenues and subscriber base aren’t budging, but the Nordic carrier claims its costs are skyrocketing. In an effort to realign its business with new mobile data realities, the carrier said it will lay off 7 percent of its workforce over two years.