Audiomack and the Black Music Action Coalition recently announced their partnership to help increase the number of Black music executives in the music industry.
Announced for the beginning of Black Music Month, the new program expands on their “Black Music Executives Are the Future” program, according to Vanity Fair. With the new initiative, six Black students in pursuit of their degree or recently graduated will be part of a three-month long internship in the music industry. The recipients will be able to explore all the facets of the industry, including music tech, marketing and finance amongst others.
Throughout their internship, the students will be mentored by professional music executives such as Max Gousee, Yves Pierre, Marcus “Don Dada” Johnson and Lydia Asrat. Kathryn Fraizer and Al Branch will also take part in the program.
“Representation is a priority for our team,” said the senior VP of marketing at Audiomack, Jason Johnson, per Variety Fair. “We remain committed to providing Black students and graduates with the real-world experience and opportunities to jumpstart their careers and pursue their passions in the music industry”
“We have a responsibility as leaders to pay it forward, open doors for the next generation of young, Black talented leaders and level the corporate playing field,” he added.
While initiatives are being created to diversify the music industry, representation is still low in the business.
According to the latest data released in 2021 by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, out of 70 music companies only three top executives were Black.
The “Inclusion in the Music Business: Gender & Race/Ethnicity Across Executives, Artists & Talent Teams” also examined the nine major music companies in the music business, including Spotify, Audacy, Live Nation and iHeartRadio. Out of these companies, only approximately about 24% of the executives in total were Black.
While music labels were said to depict “proportional representation with the U.S. census” with 14% of Black executives leading at the top, other parts of the music industry were not as diverse. According to the report, only seven percent of executives in both streaming and music groups were Black. In publishing, radio and live music, Black executives represented only six percent, four percent and 3.3%, respectively.
Following the reports, Audiomack and the Black Music Action Coalition first announced their partnership to diversify the field with the Black Music Executives Are the Future initiative in 2022.
“BMAC’s mission is not to only hold our industry accountable for dismantling systems that have historically prevented us from reaping the benefits of a culture we created, but to also to create new systems, new ideas and new leaders,” said BMAC co-founder, Prophet, per a press release for the program. “It starts with leveling the playing field and ensuring that the executives and artists coming up have the tools, support, resources, and access to excel.”