Apple Music is also participating, claiming to have canceled its regular Beats 1 radio program and directed users to a streaming station that celebrates the best of black music. It will also host a playlist designed to unite users, with regular intermissions explaining the protests and the movement. Deezer and Tidal music also tweeted support.
On Tuesday June 2, Apple Music will observe Black Out on Tuesday. We will use this day to reflect and plan actions to support black artists, black creators and black communities. #TheShowMustBePaused #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/xkvn31DpYc
– Apple Music (@AppleMusic) June 2, 2020
Meanwhile, the organizer of the Live Nation event will close its offices today, while the ViacomCBS MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central channels will “shut down,” the company said. Def Jam Recordings, Interscope, Sony Music and others will also participate. Artists expressing support include Lady Gaga, The Rolling Stones, Quincy Jones and Billie Eilish.
However, some have criticized the day, saying it is not focused and is not aimed directly at protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. Don Giovanni Records owner Joe Steinhard said Rolling stone that the movement is “misguided” and that labels should support existing initiatives like Black Lives Matter. Others noted that the industry sacrifices little for the day of the blackout, while Tony! Toni! Toné’s Raphael Saadiq said that record companies should pay artists more.
It is also unclear what level of action the labels take. While Columbia Records has declared that today is not “a day off” but rather a way of thinking, Warner Music CEO Steve Cooper wrote that “anyone can take a day’s work ” Some labels, including Capitol Records, have promised to donate to black rights organizations, but have not issued specific calls to action for employees.
On their website, however, Thomas and Agyemang discussed the inequality of the industry. ” [It is] an industry that has “benefited mainly from black art,” says the site. “It is the obligation of these entities to protect and empower black communities … in a measurable and transparent manner. It’s not just a 24-hour initiative. We are and will be in this long-term struggle. An action plan will be announced. “