2 June 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, a music streaming company, will support its employees, friends, partners, artists, and creators in the fight against racism, injustice, and inequity.
Spotify is using the power of its platform to stand with Black creators, amplify their voices, and accelerate meaningful conversation and long-needed change. As a result, listeners will notice some changes on Spotify starting at 12:01 AM on Tuesday.
Listeners will see a black logo and headline image on more than a dozen of Spotify’s flagship playlists and podcasts, including Today’s Top Hits and RapCaviar, as well as all of its urban and R&B playlists and many podcast covers. Spotify will also pause social media publication as a symbol of solidarity that reminds us that things cannot remain status quo. Finally, select participating playlists and podcasts will include an 8-minute, 46-second track of silence as a solemn acknowledgement for the length of time that George Floyd was suffocated.
Spotify will also amplify Black voices by further leveraging their long-standing Black History Is Now hub, which will serve as a central resource and home for music, playlists, and podcasts like Code Switch, You Had Me at Black, and Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay. The hub will also feature several playlists, including Black History Salute and We Shall Overcome. The Black Lives Matter playlist, which was updated for Black Music Month in June, will also be featured.
In addition to adapting the visual presentation of the platform, there will be special curation of select songs on each of the blacked-out playlists to reflect the current environment. For example, expect to hear a Kendrick Lamar song upon playing RapCaviar, a Gary Clark Jr. anthem for Rock This, and Rhiannon Giddens when you stream Indigo.
Users in the US will also see a targeted shelf positioned prominently on the home page of both desktop and mobile apps that drive to Black Out playlists. Additionally, Spotify will be running related ads globally on the Spotify Free Tier. Both of these efforts will ensure even more listeners have the opportunity to hear from Black voices.
Later in June, the music streaming company will be launching season 2 of Spotify’s The Window podcast. The initial season focused on the lives of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and season 2 will evolve its storytelling to now focus on the experiences of the Black community at this moment in time.
Hear from individuals such as a Black business owner in an area affected by the protest, a victim of police brutality, and a Black police officer. The goal is to further the conversation and use the Spotify platform to share these stories that help us humanise each other.
Spotify has also encouraged all employees around the world to observe Black Out Tuesday by taking time to reflect and educate themselves. The company has shared resources on what it means to be an effective ally to the Black community, and Spotifiers will have access to trained mental health providers.
Additionally, Spotify will match financial donations made by employees to organisations focused on the fight against racism; injustice; inequity; and driving meaningful change. Following Black Out Tuesday, Spotify will also come together as a global community for a facilitated discussion about racial injustice.
Now is not a time for silence, and Spotify stands with the Black community. As their support continues to evolve, Spotify hopes that these initial steps and actions will help push these conversations forward, promote deeper allyship, and usher in positive and lasting changes.