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The Black Music Action Coalition’s new report grades dozens of music companies on their commitment to social justice

Based on its overall effort to respond to the call for change and solidarity, Apple Music received an “N” for needs improvement.

Black Music Action Coalition

A new study published by the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) takes a comprehensive look at how companies in the music industry have fared since “Blackout Tuesday.” Last summer, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, many in the music business vowed to commit to social change. The report dissects whether or not the companies actually followed through.

BMAC presented its 37-page study titled “The Music Industry Report Card” on Friday (June 18) in Nashville, Tennessee at the National Museum of African American Music’s State of Black Music Summit. The “MIA Report Card” hands out letter grades to dozens of organizations such as the Recording Academy, Tidal, Spotify, Sony Music, Apple Music, Live Nation and Atlantic Records.

“Overall, the report reveals that while companies took the generous and needed, but relatively easy lift of donating funds or matching employee donations - some with a devised strategy - few created mechanisms to tackle and change issues and systems such as talent and promotion pipeline internally,” wrote Naima Cochrane, the lead author of the report. “Only a handful had full, multi-tiered plans of action that covered both internal changes and community engagement and giving, and only two labels publicly addressed some form of revising agreements for heritage artists - and that is a crucial aspect to working towards parity and equity.”

“Our hope is that the MIA Report Card, especially coming on the heels of the Annenberg Study, will spur more conversations and efforts towards, in some cases, disruptive change,” Cochrane continued. “We’re applying pressure, and we challenge more companies to take that next step towards honest and transparent dialogue moving forward.”

When it comes to company representation on a senior executive level, Warner Music Group received a “D.” Based on its overall effort to respond to the call for change and solidarity, Apple Music received an “N” for needs improvement, while Pandora was given a “U” for unsatisfactory.

Check out the full “MIA Report Card” here.

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