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Spotify Takes a Sharp Left Turn with Election 2016 Genre

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On Tuesday, Spotify’s blatant Left-leaning bias became clear with the addition of "Election 2016" to their list of genres, including a series of Podcasts, called Clarify. In this podcast, host Baratunde Thurson interviews a series of musicians about relevant political issues.

To give you a clue about the demographic targeted by Spotify’s new election podcast, the first episode is entitled “Student Debt.”  In this episode, Baratunde interviewed electronic music phenom and Major Lazer lead, Diplo. As you would expect in a podcast targeting young listeners and featuring an electronic music DJ, Diplo feels the Bern. 

During the Diplo interview, many tears were shed about student debt, particularly the plight of students who can’t afford to pursue the arts and are held “slave to money.”

Afterward, Baratunde went on to describe (in detail) Hillary’s “Debt Free Higher Education Plan” (to a background applause sound effect). Conveniently, Baratunde gave only passing mention to Donald Trump’s plan to reduce the size of the Department of Education, and barely spent any time talking about the GOP’s College Education platform.

Should we be surprised? Clarify host Baratunde might pretend to be objective during the podcast, but he isn’t at all shy to broadcast his personal views.

And if you don’t think Spotify is taking Baratunde or this podcast seriously, think again. Spotify has given Clarify and their 2016 Election Coverage a coveted top spot in their “Genres & Moods” search section.

Spotify will release an episode every Tuesday, leading up to election day. But if this past week’s episode has any bearing on the direction of Clarify, you can be sure that Conservatives are not a welcome audience for Spotify.

For Spotify, the siren song of political activism is just too attractive to ignore. 

The youth vote is one of the most coveted demographics in politics. This year, tech companies like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Google have been hard at work, carving an increasingly prominent niche in communications technology, voter information, and influence.

Spotify is in a unique place in the tech world. They have an audience of approximately 40 million paid subscribers, 62% of whom are under 30, and their desire to influence the politics of young users is no secret. In an interview with Tech site CNET, Spotify Social Impact Director Kerry Steib said, "Music and social issues have always been linked -- music both reflects the culture in which we live but also helps shape it."

If Spotify’s political censorship, Obama Playlist, or inclusion of “Pride” as a genre of music doesn’t give customers a clue about how they want to “shape” culture, Clarify and Spotify's "Election 2016" genre will. 

When a company of the power and influence of Spotify passes off their own super liberal podcast like Clarify as objective, it undermines the trust that artists and consumers place in a music service provider. Spotify is a Swedish company, and 40 Million Americans (of all political backgrounds) turn to Spotify to combat workplace boredom or drop tunes for a weekend dinner party. It would speak volumes if a popular tech company like Spotify broke the mold of Facebook and Twitter, and made it their business to merely provide a functional and convenient service to their customers, without meddling in our political affairs. 

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