Black History Month is often a time for companies and brands to not only display their efforts to diversify their marketing and advertising but to also be more relatable with Black consumers. This year, companies have put dollars towards new campaigns or have built on what they’ve started previously.
For Black History Month, Spotify launched “Frequency Zine.” The social series highlights six Black artists who are the future of the music scene, making waves in genres like Indie, Rock, Pop and more.
Zine also promoted Black authors’ audiobooks to listeners. Options included The 1619 Project by Nikola Hannah-Jones, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson and more. Black podcasts like the “Unbothered Network,” by Jemele Hill, which uplifts voices and stories of the agency of Black women, were also promoted.
Last year, Spotify honored Black History Month with a curated playlist that was created by the company’s POC Employee Resource Group.
Both have been met with millions of active listeners and subscribers.
According to Spotify’s 2021 DEI Report, the company had 180 million subscribers and 406 million active listeners by the end of the year. Of the content available to users, more than 3 million were podcasts and 82 million were tracks.
In the year prior, Spotify had 155 million subscribers and just under 350 million active listeners. That same year, Spotify had about 2 million podcasts and a little over 70 million tracks.
Big Tech companies were also making a point to honor and celebrate.
Last year, Google launched the Image Equality Fellowship with three organizations to award $20,000, mentorship and educational workshops to 20 Black innovators. Now a year later, the big tech company built on that with one saying: “OK Google, Happy Black History Month.”
With one phrase, users were given access to the Black History & Culture hub where Google honored the 20 awardees and over 100 Black experiences throughout history.
YouTube, which is owned by Google, also celebrated Black History Month by highlighting Black history moments on YouTube Music through a playlist and featuring Black creators on the Spotlight channel.
Google is the top search engine globally, dominating over sites like Yahoo, and the company’s workforce representation is gradually climbing.
While more than half of Google employees are white, Black professionals have grown by approximately two percent. According to their 2022 diversity report, Asian workers have risen from 29 percent to 31 percent and Latino representation has remained stagnant at four percent.
Some companies used social media to their benefit.
Hulu, for example, utilized its social media to the fullest degree to celebrate Black History Month. The streaming service gave its platform over to notable Black entertainers, asking them to send thanks to the person who gave them the most guidance and hope.
As of 2021, Hulu had nearly 100 million viewers with approximately 40 million subscribers. The majority of the company’s audience was white while 20 percent were Latino, and 13 percent were Black.
Hulu is owned by Disney, which came under massive fire earlier this month for its 7,000 employee layoff. At the end of 2022, the parent company’s overall workforce included 8 percent of Black professionals, approximately 28 percent Hispanic workers and Asian representation was at almost 8 percent.
Byonce Tyus is a reporter for Marcom Weekly covering industry news, advertising conferences, and diverse-owned media trends.