International streaming service Spotify have released a statement, For the Record, on their official news page to say that today, for #BlackOutTuesday, there will be some marked changes to their site. At the head of their statement, Spotify have revealed their intentions to “[use] the power of our platform to stand with Black creators, amplify their voices, and accelerate meaningful conversation and long-needed change.” This decision comes in the wake of mass protests taking place across the United States, and more widely around the rest of the world, in response to the murder of African-American George Floyd by asphyxiation at the hands (or knee) of a white police officer.
Pinned at the top of their official Twitter page, @Spotify, the streaming giant presented a message of solidarity promising to “stand with the Black community,” assuring all that their employees, partners, signed artists and creators would be represented in “the fight against racism, injustice and inequality.”
— Spotify (@Spotify) May 30, 2020
The changes made to the site include blacked-out cover images at the head of over a dozen of their “flagship playlists and podcasts,” as well as a temporary ceasing of social media publication in support of the need to upset the status quo. This interruption to standard operating service is a challenge to the ongoing institutional racism that has afflicted Black people in our society, and it is hoped that this disruptive action will draw attention to the need for change.
Spotify have also implemented within specific participating playlists and podcasts “an 8-minute, 46-second track of silence as a solemn acknowledgement for the length of time that George Floyd was suffocated.” Beyond this, the site aims to elevate Black voices onto a higher platform of influence through their Black History is Now hub, which they will position as a “a central resource and home for music, playlists, and podcasts.”
In closing, the statement asserts that “Now is not a time for silence, and Spotify stands with the Black community. As our support continues to evolve, we hope that these initial steps and actions will help push these conversations forward,” ushering in a legacy of lasting change.