“The Show Must Be Paused” in Apple Music and Spotify

During fast-moving upheaval, one initiative strives to create stillness: “The Show Must Be Paused,” a plea started by two Atlantic Records execs , directed at the music industry, to publicly recognize racism generally, and the deaths of blacks at the hands of police specifically. Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang started this off with a short manifesto calling for a day of work-week disruption. “It is a day to take a beat for an honest, reflective and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community,” they wrote.

The correct hashtag for this is #theshowmustbepaused. A spinoff (#BlackoutTuesday) is related and has gained traction, but it does not belong to the original Thomas/Agyemang movement.

The call to reflection is for the music industry as a whole, not necessarily labels only. We learn from Fast Company that Apple Music and Spotify are participating:

  • Apple Music has replaced some standard personalized playlists (For You, Browse, and certain Radio sections) with a “Listen Together” link which plays a list filled with black music.
  • Spotify has added eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence to some playlists and (according to Fast Company) podcasts. (The podcast part seems surprising — no reason not to extend it, but podcasts aren’t part of the original music industry thrust.)

We also notice graphic black-outs of some Spotify playlists feature black music, in a part of our Browse section in the Android app called “In solidarity.” (See below.)



Brad Hill