Spotify’s Blackout Tuesday: Service Will Be Live, but Some Playlists and Podcasts Will Not

Spotify logo is presented on a

When Spotify announced over the weekend that it will support Blackout Tuesday (June 2), some people assumed that that the entire service will go dark: It won’t.

The streaming giant posted on its blog that it “Stands with the Black Community in the Fight Against Racism and Injustice,” and is giving a number of staffers a “day of collective disconnect from work meant to help people reflect and come together in support of the Black community,” only certain channels, playlists and podcasts will go dark. The company also will match financial donations made by employees to organizations “focused on the fight against racism, injustice, inequity, and driving meaningful change,” according to the announcement.

“We are using the power of our platform to stand with Black creators, amplify their voices, and accelerate meaningful conversation and long-needed change. As a result, you’ll notice some changes on Spotify starting at 12:01 a.m. [local time] on Tuesday,” the post reads, and follows:

  • Blacked Out Channels, Playlists, and Podcasts: Listeners will see a black logo and headline image on more than a dozen of our flagship playlists and podcasts, including Today’s Top Hits and RapCaviar, as well as all of our urban and R&B playlists and many podcast covers. Spotify will also pause social publication as a symbol of solidarity that reminds us that things cannot remain status quo. Finally, select participating playlists and podcasts will include a 8-minute, 46-second track of silence, as a solemn acknowledgement for the length of time that George Floyd was suffocated.
  • Black History is Now Hub Activation: We will also amplify Black voices by further leveraging our 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.
  • Special Curation of Playlists: 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 environme 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 U.S. will also see a targeted shelf positioned prominently on the home page of both desktop and mobile apps that drives to Black Out playlists.
  • The Window Podcast Programming: Later in June, we’ll be launching season two of Spotify’s The Window The initial season focused on the lives of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and season two 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 protest, a victim of police brutality, and a black police officer.

“Now is not a time for silence,” the post concludes, “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, promote deeper allyship, and usher in positive and lasting changes.”