Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and Amazon Participate in “Blackout Tuesday”

The day is a call to action for the music industry

iPhone smartphone with headphones playing Spotify
Spotify and other streaming services are participating in "Blackout Tuesday" today.
Mahmut Serdar Alakus via Getty
By Bonnie Stiernberg / June 2, 2020 10:57 am

Many in the music industry are participating in a “blackout” today (June 2) in support of George Floyd and the protestors speaking out against his death, but as a recent Rolling Stone piece suggests, some are still searching for clarity on what exactly that means.

For Spotify, it means adding an eight minute and 46-second moment of silence to select playlists and podcasts on the streaming service to pay tribute to Floyd. (Eight minutes and 46 seconds is the amount of time that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck while he was murdering him.) The company is also replacing headline and playlist images with a blacked out image and matching financial donations by employees to organizations fighting racism.

“June 2nd is Black Out Tuesday, a day of collective disconnect from work meant to help people reflect and come together in support of the Black community. On this day — and every day — Spotify will support our employees, friends, partners, artists, and creators in the fight against racism, injustice, and inequity,” Spotify wrote in a blog post. “We are using the power of our platform to stand with Black creators, amplify their voices, and accelerate meaningful conversation and long-needed change. As a result, you’ll notice some changes on Spotify starting at 12:01 AM on Tuesday.”

Apple Music’s regular Beats 1 radio programming has been canceled for the day, replaced by a streaming station promoting black artists. Its recommendation tabs are also highlighting a single playlist called “For Us, By Us.” Amazon Music announced it would be pausing all social media for the day, while YouTube issued a tweet of support and pledged to donate $1 million to the Center for Policing Equity.

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