As part of the music industry’s Blackout Tuesday protest against racism, Spotify and SiriusXM went silent on June 2, 2020 in a symbolic gesture to acknowledge last week’s death of George Floyd.
Spotify, the world’s leading streaming platform included an 8-minute, 46-second moment of silence on select playlists and podcasts. The move was implemented “as a solemn acknowledgement for the length of time that George Floyd was suffocated,” according to the company. In addition, particular playlists such as Today’s Top Hits and RapCaviar, and all urban and R&B playlists displayed black logos and headline images. The auditory changes were small in comparison to what many feared would happen: a total suspension of service.
SiriusXM on the other hand silenced all music channels for three minutes at 3 PM ET. According to a memo by the company’s CEO Jim Meyer released to its employees, the pause included “one minute to reflect on the terrible history of racism, one minute in observance of this tragic moment in time and one minute to hope for and demand a better future.” “This will serve as a tribute not only to George Floyd but to all of the countless victims of racism.”
Like the two music streaming platforms, the music industry as a whole quickly rallied around Blackout Tuesday, in order to put a spotlight on the current, racially inspired events. The #TheShowMustBePaused initiated was created by Atlantic Records executive Jamila Thomas and Platoon’s Brianna Agyemang.