Spotify points out that while female podcasters of color are making their mark in podcasting, there is still a significant opportunity to bridge the gap in representation. Spotify states that 22% of podcasts in the U.S. are hosted by women, and even less than that are hosted by minority women.
Spotify’s immersive Sound Up was created to tackle this issue head on. Returning for the second year in a row, the program is designed to uplift and amplify the voices of women of color. This intensive, week-long program lead by longtime facilitators Rekha Murthy and Graham Griffith trains the next generation of leading podcasters through education, mentorship and support from Spotify.
This year’s participants include: Alyssa Castro, Christina Orlando, SK, Janae Burris, Kacie Willis, Michel Rosario, Rebecca Jackson-Artis, Shayla Martin, Yvette Ankunda and Mohini Madgavkar, who were provided one year Journalist PRO Licensees courtesy of Hindenburg Systems during the program.
At the end of the course, Christina Orlando, Janae Burris, Shayla Martin, and SK were awarded $10,000 each to fund their proposed podcasts.
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.
I really like that Spotify is reaches out and provides Sound Up to podcasters who are in the minority. In this case, Sound Up included female podcasters of color in the United States. This follows Sound Up Bootcamp in London, which also focused on aspiring podcasters in the UK who identify as a woman of color. In 2018, Spotify’s Sound Up Bootcamp in Australia invited First Nation’s aspiring podcasters to participate.