One Year After Calling Out Racism In The Music Industry, The Black Music Action Coalition Grades Progress
Photo Credit: Davis Sanchez

One Year After Calling Out Racism In The Music Industry, The Black Music Action Coalition Grades Progress

Last summer, the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) called out major record labels and streaming services in the music industry to do more to address their racial inequities.

One year later, the U.S.-based organization has launched their own “report card” to grade various companies in the industry on how much progress they’ve made so far.

Over the past year, many companies and corporations have announced their own initiatives and multi-million dollar funds to tackle systemic racism in America, but the BMAC didn’t think that was enough to create change in the industry.

In an attempt to hold companies accountable, the organization decided to publish a report measuring all public pledges and promises made in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the music industry’s widely-observed initiative, #TheShowMustBePaused. 

According to its website, the BMAC shared that it sent out a brief survey to over 60 executives at more than 20 companies. Their results reported that “five replies came back, three from the same corporate system,” as well as “an additional reply that asked to stay anonymous and off-record.”

The report’s grading criteria for companies was based on the following scoring scale:

    1. Initial corporate statement and commitment
    2. Company representation on a senior executive level
    3. Execution and follow up on commitments and pledges
    4. Additional actions and/or plans that lead to sustainable, impactful change of structures and systems

Companies included in the 2021 report include Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and the Recording Academy — most of which overall scored Bs and Cs in their general progress.

Additionally, streaming services that were graded accordingly include Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube Music, Pandora and Bandcamp — all whose scores varied from unsatisfactory to satisfactory.

Moreover, the report also did a thorough assessment of live music and touring companies like Live Nation, UTA, CAA, WME and more who received less than poor scores.

The results of BMAC’s report are not shocking to say the least, especially in companies efforts to do more on behalf of Black artists and executives at the senior level and follow through on previous commitments.

Details of this inaugural report is the level of transparency many have been asking to see from the music industry and now that this information is being made public, we may start to see some necessary changes occur.

“Companies did a fair job of visibly amplifying Black voices and causes and putting money back into Black communities and Black organizations over the last year,” BMAC states. “However, the point is to hold companies to the task of sustained investment and change.”

“Corporations in general, and entertainment specifically, have been overdue for a standard, public measurement of how their practices impact the Black lives, including executives, artists and the communities they come from,” it adds.

According to BMAC, its goal is to expand on this report each year, take deeper dives into every sector of the music business and turn its expectations into a respected standard that the industry will soon follow.

To view BMAC’s full public report, click here.