Spotify has launched its Sound Up initiative in India to give underrepresented women podcast creators a boost.
The Spotify Sound Up program launched in 2018 and each year it has expanded. This year, the initiative is expanding to include training resources to women who podcast in India. The program helps participants hone their podcasting skills through training, mentoring, workshops, and other support from Spotify.
“Since its launch in 2018, Sound Up has successfully supported the voices of underrepresented communities with an aim to tackle inequity,” says Natalie Tulloch, Spotify’s Global Lead for the Sound Up program. “The program seeks to identify opportunities for new talent, and we are eager to find and represent unique female storytellers from India.”
“Ultimately, we want to create a cascading effect where, as we support more women, they in turn act as role models and empower other women in their network to dual up the female voice in the audio industry,” Tulloch continues. “And to ensure everyone has equal access to resources and technology, Spotify will provide computers, internet access, and podcast recording equipment to the Sound Up participants.”
The Spotify Sound Up program for India will start with four weeks of virtual sessions.
Those sessions will include live courses, recorded lessons, and one-on-one meetings with the Spotify team. Eight weeks after the completion of virtual classes, participants can submit a final trailer and pitch proposal for the opportunity to be selected to attend more Sound Up sessions in 2022.
Spotify is hoping to incubate talent in developing countries to grow their homegrown podcast market. Candidates who are interested in the Spotify Sound Up India program can apply until July 26. The program is free and open to all residents who identify as women above the age of 18. After July 26, ten finalists will be chosen to attend the program later this year.
In 2021 alone, Spotify Sound Up has expanded to 14 countries. Ten finalists from each country are selected to enter the program, adding 140 emerging creators to Spotify’s exclusive podcast roster. Sound Up has been offered to women and non-binary people of color in the US, UK, Ireland, Sweden, Brazil, and Germany.
Spotify has also launched its AmplifiHer program in India to bring more women into music and podcasting. Spotify hopes to inspire more talent to enter the audio industry, especially women who are traditionally underrepresented. Research from the UK launch of Sound Up found that fewer than 5% of the top 100 UK podcasts are hosted by Black women or non-binary people.