You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sonos Starts Grant Program to Support Future of Music

Internet-connected speaker maker Sonos launched a new social impact initiative called “Listen Better” Thursday, with the goal of supporting both anti-censorship initiatives as well as groups that aim to bridge the access gap to music and technology. To that end, Sonos pledged to give grants to qualifying non-profits, starting with donations of $1.5 million to six groups.

“Too many artists face barriers to free expression and others can be jailed or even killed for merely sharing their songs over the internet,” said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence in a blog post. “Communities lack space and resources to ensure all musicians can be heard. We’re failing to foster a new generation of music lovers prepared for success in the modern economy.”

The first round of grants of the Listen Better program was awarded to the following recipients:

Next year, Sonos wants to open up its grant program to other groups around the world. The company has hired former Access Now exec Deji Olukotun as its new head of social impact to lead these efforts, and is getting advice from Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest fame for the program as well.

Said Spence: “Without freedom for the underserved to make their voices heard, there is nothing to listen to. There’s just silence. So we must listen better – and fight for the future of music.”

The launch of the program comes at an interesting time for Sonos. After struggling with increased competition from the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home, Sonos finally released its own voice-activated speaker earlier this month. Coinciding with the release of the new hardware, Spence told Variety that the company is considering to go public to finance further expansions. “We are considering whether an IPO would be the next best thing,” he said.

More Digital

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, DreamWorks Animation claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” Ads placed for the fantasy film had an estimated media value [...]

  • ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the

    MyFrenchFilmFestival Prizes ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the Right Shape’

    Actress-director Noémie Lvovsky’s “Tomorrow And Thereafter,” a heartfelt homage to the director’s own mother, and Fabien Gorgeart’s “Diane Has the Right Shape,” about one woman’s surrogate motherhood, both won big at the 2019 UniFrance MyFrenchFilmFestival which skewed female in its winners and viewership, making particularly notable inroads into South East Asia and Latin America. Opening [...]

  • soundcloud-logo

    SoundCloud Launches Tool to Distribute Music to Other Streaming Services

    SoundCloud today announced a new distribution tool that enables artists to distribute their music to other streaming services. The feature, currently in open beta the service’s Pro and Pro Unlimited platforms, means that artists can upload their music to SoundCloud competitors including Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify and Instagram. “Creators using the SoundCloud Premier distribution feature keep [...]

  • Alison Meyer - Whistle

    Whistle Taps Refinery29's Alison Meyer as VP of Marketing

    Whistle has hired Alison Meyer, previously with female-focused Refinery29, to head up brand-marketing solutions for the male-centric digital media player. As VP of marketing at New York-based Whistle, Meyer will lead partnership marketing for the company’s slate of original programming and branded content. She reports to Whistle president and COO Michael Cohen. Meyer’s appointment comes on [...]

  • Snapchat - NHL Highlights

    Snapchat Expands NHL Pact to Add Hockey Highlights, Curated Stories

    Snapchat is adding more action from the ice under a new multiyear deal with the National Hockey League. The NHL, in association with Disney Streaming Services, is delivering a new weekly highlights show on Snapchat recapping the top 10 plays of the previous week and will produce Curated Our Stories on the platform for select games [...]

  • Hulu Adds Another Interactive Ad: This

    Hulu Adds Another Interactive Ad: This One Lets You Get Offers Via Email

    Hulu lets its subscribers choose the show they want to see. Now the video-streaming service is increasingly letting users choose to respond to certain commercials right away. A commercial from Sleep Number, the manufacturer of the bed with an adjustable mattress, that has run on Hulu for the past several weeks allows viewers to request [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content