Amazon, our guardian angel of speedy delivery and on-demand streaming, has been scrutinized for their affiliations with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other government agencies.
A group of musicians, who operate under the organization No Music for ICE, recently stated they were refusing to perform at Amazon-sponsored events. Artists like Jay Som, Car Seat Headrest, and Atmosphere signed the petition, along with countless others. Now, they're taking their activism a step further by choosing to remove their music from the website and encouraging their peers to do the same.
"A mass, collective takedown is an escalation, another step in musicians acting in solidarity with the numerous groups across the country protesting to shut down ICE and end family separations, deportations, and other horrors," reads the organization's statement.
The statement goes on to explain how Amazon has been attempting to compete with streaming giants like Apple Music and Spotify, as well as grow as an established market for purchasing music. Instead, they've only made a small blip on the radar: According to an industry insider who spoke with No Music for ICE, Amazon only accounted for about 4 percent of first-week streams from a handful of major rock acts. Because of this, the statement explains, removing music is an effective way to "kick Amazon where it hurts."
But the timing is important, too; No Music for ICE explains that the mass takedown will start on Black Friday, continuing throughout the holiday season, when a heightened state of consumerism is typically on our minds. The organization's website also includes instructions on how to remove your music from Amazon, for both label-signed artists and totally independent artists. Bringing capitalism and xenophobia to the ground in one fell swoop is surely something to sing about.