Spotify has been making a concerted effort to support more multicultural podcasters because yes, the podcasting world is still majority white male. According to a recent press release, in 2018, only 22% of podcasts were hosted by women, and even fewer when it came to minority women.
Spotify is back for year two of Sound Up, a program that is highly focused on diversifying the podcast landscape, with an emphasis on backing women of color. The immersive accelerator for new female podcasters of color is set up to support the next generation of podcasters by providing education and resources.
Here’s how it works. The press release states that applicants can expect an immersive experience that will help them take their ideas to pilot production. The program covers technical production, storytelling through audio, marketing your podcast, and more, geared to develop the skills and confidence to create a podcast pilot. No prior experience is required. Applicants just need to have something unique to say and a desire to use the podcast medium to tell their story. At the end of the week, participants will pitch for a chance to win $5K and the opportunity to have up to five of their podcast episodes produced. The participants will own the intellectual property to their podcast idea.
Past alumni of Sound Up have received podcast development deals, connections to industry leaders, and production grants to take their concepts to the next level.
The program was launched in 2018 and previously selected 10 women of color from over 18,000 applicants. Last June, the Spotify offices in New York City hosted the first-ever Sound Up Workshop. In addition to the U.S., Sound Up launched globally in Australia, Brazil, and the UK. Last year’s winners included: In Those Genes, which focuses on genetics and the black community, Dope Labs, which looks at the intersection between science and pop culture, and Your Job Seems Easy, an interview show which explores the working lives of women of color.
Spotify is now accepting applications for the 2019 Sound Up program. The deadline for entries is June 21st at 12 AM ET. The program will take place Aug. 12–17 in New York City.