Big Music Streaming Services Join “Blackout Tuesday”

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated September 24, 2021

The death of George Floyd has brought a massive wave of unrest, as well as an unprecedented call to action against racism and injustice. It seems that the event was the last drop in a big glass of systematic brutality, violence, and discrimination that was steadily filling for decades. Many brands have tried to take advantage of racism, posting "empty" solidarity images on social media, and trying to raise their positive image to the audiences. Others have taken matters a step further, proving that they are willing to lose revenues to make a point and raise awareness around injustice and racism.

In this context, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music are joining the call to action that was launched by various members of the music industry, and are shutting down their services for the day. The idea of this movement was of the Atlantic Records,' who called others to join in and help make the blackout noticeable on June 2, 2020. The first major entities to respond to the call were Warner Music Group, Sony Music, and the Universal Music Group, three giants in the music industry.

So, if you try to listen to something on Apple Music today, this is what you’ll get instead:



The other streaming services are either offering special playlists, injecting silence in between tracks, and displaying messages to raise awareness. For example, Spotify has announced that they will be adding an 8-minute and 46-second track of complete silence on all playlists, to symbolize the length of time during which George Floyd was suffocating. There will also be special curation of playlists with select songs that help make a point on the fact that black lives matter.


Source: Spotify Newsroom

Amazon Music has decided not to pause the music streaming service but instead announced that they would not post anything on social media, which is a form of silence.

Finally, some of the companies mentioned above will carry out financial donations to organizations that fight racism and injustice, while some are already running errands for this purpose internally. While not all of these actions are equal, we applaud the initiative, as these services have the reach to raise awareness around a topic that has been burning the core of our humanity for a long time now.

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