×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Spotify Reprising ‘Sound Up’ Podcasting Boot Camp for Women of Color

Spotify is bringing back Sound Up, its five-day accelerator program to educate and support women of color in developing new podcasts, to New York City this summer.

It will follow the same format as its inaugural Sound Up program in the U.S. last year. Spotify will select 10 women for an all-expenses-paid week-long podcast workshop in the Big Apple. At the end of the week, participants will pitch their concepts to an industry panel that will pick three winners — who will each receive a $10,000 grant to produce up to five episodes of their podcast.

Spotify is now accepting applications for the 2019 Sound Up program, at this link. The deadline for entries is June 21 at midnight ET. The program will run Aug. 12-17 in New York.

Podcasting is a major new focus for Spotify. This week, Spotify announced a mulityear pact with Barack and Michelle Obama, under which the former first couple’s Higher Ground production company will develop, produce and host a range of podcast shows. The audio-streaming company has said it expects to invest up to $500 million in podcasting in 2019, which has included acquisitions of three podcasting companies: Gimlet Media, Anchor FM and Parcast.

While Sound Up is a way for Spotify to cultivate new podcast creators — particularly those underrepresented in the field — the company says there are no strings attached to the program. Participants aren’t obligated to distribute their work on the platform. In addition, they will own the intellectual property of their podcast ideas.

Last year, Spotify’s Sound Up elicited over 18,000 applications. The three winners were:

  • Titi Shodiya, a scientific auditor at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, who co-hosts podcast “Dope Labs” with Zakiya Whatley, looking at the intersection of science and pop culture;
  • Janina Jeff, a geneticist at biotech company Illumina, whose podcast “In Those Genes” will focus on genetics and the black community, with cohost Ashley Huderson; and
  • Kristina Ogilvie, secretary for a disaster aid nonprofit in Washington, D.C., whose podcast concept was “Your Job Seems Easy,” an interview show that explores the working lives of women of color.

Of those, only Shodiya’s “Dope Labs” is currently in production, after debuting earlier this year on Spotify and other platforms. A rep for the company said Jeff and Ogilvie are continuing to develop their projects, and noted, “While we fund production and mentor all three winners, attendees and winners are not required to produce their podcasts with Spotify (or at all).”

With the 2019 Sound Up, Spotify promises an “immersive experience” in bringing a podcast concept from idea to pilot. The sessions will include podcast technical production, storytelling through audio and marketing.

To be eligible for Spotify’s Sound Up, applicants must be U.S. citizens but no prior podcasting experience is required. According to the company, “Applicants just need to have something unique to say and a desire to use the podcast medium to tell their story.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Mark Zuckerberg

    Zuckerberg Defends Facebook's Approach to Free Speech, Says Politicians Will Be Allowed to Lie

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went to Georgetown University Thursday to explain his views on freedom of expression, and how it influenced Facebook’s policies around dealing with controversial subjects, including political ads that include outright lies. “I’ve focused on building services to do two things: give people voice, and bring people together,” Zuckerberg said. In his [...]

  • Kids' Programming Will Be a Battleground

    Why Kids' Programming Will Be a Major Battleground in the Streaming Wars

    When “Moana” left Netflix on Dec. 20, parents of little kids let out a collective wail of despair on Twitter and Facebook parenting groups everywhere. The phrase “ruined Christmas” was pointedly used in the streamer’s direction — sometimes facetiously, sometimes with the reflected ire of a preschooler who had awakened one morning to find her [...]

  • Nvidia Shield leak

    Nvidia Shield 2019 Model Leaks on Amazon

    The latest version of Nvidia’s Android TV streamer has found its way onto Amazon.com ahead of an official announcement. The new device features a more powerful processor as well as a new remote control. Nvidia didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The latest Nvidia Shield is being powered by a Tegra X1+ processor, [...]

  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

    'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order': Respawn CEO on Telling the Story Behind 'Becoming a Jedi'

    When it comes to media properties, it doesn’t get much bigger than “Star Wars.” That sentiment certainly isn’t lost on Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The title, which follows Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis (voiced by Cameron Monaghan) after the events of “Episode III — Revenge of [...]

  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

    'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order': What to Expect From EA and Respawn's Latest

    There’s a lot riding on “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The upcoming title from EA and Respawn is the first major single-player “Star Wars” video game since 2008’s “The Force Unleashed,” and is one of the most anticipated games of 2019. After years of multiplayer adventures, could “Fallen Order” be the title that brings the [...]

  • Katie Couric Olympics

    Katie Couric Plots 'SeeHer Stories' for People Magazine

    Katie Couric’s next assignment: Creating digital videos for People. Couric’s media company, Katie Couric Media is teaming with the Meredith-owned magazine to produce the weekly digital video series “#SeeHer Story,” that will feature short vignettes of female trailblazers and rulebreakers. The series is meant to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which prohibits [...]

  • Wonderscope Willowcrest Manor

    Within Adds 'Willowcrest Manor' Ghost Story to Its Wonderscope AR App (EXCLUSIVE)

    Los Angeles-based immersive media startup Within added another augmented reality (AR) story to its children’s storytelling app Wonderscope Thursday: “Willowcrest Manor” gives kids a chance to become a ghost, haunt a house, and scare intruders away from hidden treasure. Wonderscope, which is available for most recent-generation iPads and iPhones, lets children explore animated stories in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content