Spotify’s Sound Up looks to amplify female voices in India

Sweden-based music streaming company Spotify are launching a global female empowerment program meant to equip women of the world with proper training within the podcasting realm.  

The program, called “Sound Up!”, aims to identify under-represented communities and enables participants to enhance their podcasting skills through training, mentoring workshops, and full-program support provided by the audio streaming platform. 

According to a statement by Natalie Tulloch, Global Lead-Sound Up at Spotify, the program seeks to deal with inequality through giving opportunities to amateur women podcast creators to “speak up”!  

The role of “Sound Up” does not end after empowering the candidates, the aim is to turn these talents into role models so they can inspire other women. 

The program, which aims to give women a voice, will kickstart in India after choosing 10 candidates who are able to register for free.  As for the acceptance criteria, any Indian woman above the age of 18 can sign up for the program.  

“Sound Up” will take place along two phases starting with four weeks of virtual sessions consisting of scheduled live courses, recorded lessons, one-on-one meetings with the Spotify team and facilitators, and light homework assignments.  

Following that, eight weeks after the completion of virtual classes, participants will submit a final trailer and pitch proposal for the opportunity to be selected to attend the subsequent Sound Up sessions in 2022. 

The program support will include the delivery of computers, internet access and podcast recording equipment to the Sound Up participants. 

Sound Up has created opportunities for beginners and professional podcasters over the past years that led the program to be extended to 14 countries.  

It is worth noting that the program previously supported not only women equality cases, but also non-binary people of color in the US, UK, Ireland, and Sweden; young people of color in Brazil, and members of the LGBTIQA+ community in Germany.  

Spotify a company that has currently around 2 million users in India, among 345 million monthly active users globally, is aware of the major gender gap in the podcasting arena.  

According to a report published by Reuters in 2017, only about one-third of the top 100 podcasts on Apple were hosted or co-hosted by women. Similarly, another study conducted by “Edison Research” in 2019 shows that among monthly podcast listeners, women fall behind men, with 46 percent of listeners identifying as women and 54 percent identifying as men. 

More companies lately are getting aware of their workforce diversity, as it contributes to improving productivity as per a survey conducted by Lehman Brothers. Yet, this awareness must be “practiced” in serious programs that guarantees women equality, just like Sound Up!