On Monday, Swedish music streaming company Spotify launched Sound Up in India to boost underrepresented women podcast creators in the country.
Sound Up is a global program created to identify underrepresented communities and enables participants to hone their podcast skills through training, mentoring workshops, and full-program support provided by the audio streaming platform.
In India, Spotify will focus on women as an underrepresented community with the hope to bring more female talent into India’s thriving audio ecosystem, the company said.
“Since its launch in 2018, Sound Up has successfully supported the voices of underrepresented communities with an aim to tackle inequity. The programme 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 dial up the female voice in the audio industry,” said Natalie Tulloch, Global Lead-Sound Up at Spotify, in a statement.
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“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,” she added.
The India Sound Up programme will start with four weeks of virtual Sound Up sessions consisting of scheduled live courses, recorded lessons, one-on-one meetings with the Spotify team and facilitators, and light homework assignments. 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.
Interested candidates can apply online until July 26. The programme is free and is open to residents of India who identify as women and are above the age of 18. After July 26, 10 finalists will be chosen to attend the programme later this year.
“Anyone who is an aspiring podcaster with a great idea is welcome, and if selected, will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field on initial ideation, storytelling, and interviewing, as well as editing and producing podcasts,” the company said in the statement.A
The facilitators for Sound Up in India include Mae Mariyam Thomas, renowned radio presenter, journalist, podcast producer, and audio content and production consultant, and Riya Mukherjee, an eminent writer, producer, and original content creator.
Globally, the program has created opportunities for amateur and pro podcasters. In 2021, the program was extended to 14 countries, enabling Spotify to support an additional more than 140 emerging creators this year alone.
In the past, Sound Up has been offered to women and non-binary people of colour in the US, UK, Ireland, and Sweden; young people of colour from the Periferias in Brazil, and members of the LGBTIQA+ community in Germany.
Sound Up is one of the many steps Spotify is taking to support and build equity for women in the audio industry.
Earlier this year, Spotify launched AmplifiHer in India, a sustained initiative that includes women across music and podcasts, inspiring upcoming talent through their own career paths and stories of success and failure, and EQUAL, which caters to female artists and podcasters, by featuring them prominently on the platform.