“Black artists consistently top the popular music charts, but African-Americans and other people of colour are not adequately represented in decision-making roles in the music business,” is the first line of a press release from… the biggest label group in the music business. So what is Universal Music doing about this disparity? Having already pledged a $25m ‘change fund’ and set up a taskforce, now UMG has announced that it’s working with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on a report analysing “the extent to which men and women of colour are excluded from music’s leadership ranks” across all parts of the industry: major and independent labels and publishers; digital services; radio, live, managers, lawyers, agents and publicists included.
Annenberg will publish the report, one would hope with complete independence over the content, given its partner’s position in the industry that is likely to be criticised.
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