July 11, 2020

Musicians Push Industry to Support Justice With Money, Not Hashtags

Record labels and tech platforms had already made some commitments, however. This week Spotify and Sony Music said they would match employee donations. Apple said it would give unspecified sums to a number of groups, including the Equal Justice Initiative, and SiriusXM, which also owns Pandora, said on Wednesday that it would be making undisclosed contributions.

The Universal Music Group announced a task force to examine the company’s efforts in inclusion and social justice, but so far has not announced any specific plans for donations.

Still, advocates have been careful to note that their efforts would not be limited to a single day, and further donations may be coming soon. Late on Tuesday, the organizers of the Blackout campaign tweeted: “You just witnessed Act 1.”

On Wednesday, the Warner Music Group — home to stars like Cardi B and Ed Sheeran — upped the ante by announcing a $100 million fund from the company and a foundation affiliated with its majority owner, Len Blavatnik of Access Industries, “to support charitable causes related to the music industry, social justice and campaigns against violence and racism.”

That statement came within minutes of another announcement from Warner about the pricing of shares in its much-anticipated initial public offering. The company will sell 77 million shares — seven million more than originally announced — at $25 each, raising $1.9 billion for Access, which issued the stock. Those seven million extra shares will bring in $175 million.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/arts/music/blackout-tuesday-donations.html

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