Spotify Supports Underrepresented Podcasters With ‘Sound Up,’ Now in the US, UK and Ireland, Germany, Australia, Sweden, and Brazil

If you’ve ever dreamed of creating your own podcast, this is your chance. Spotify’s Sound Up program, now in its third year, is designed to uplift and amplify the voices of aspiring podcasters from underrepresented backgrounds through education, workshops, and support. Applications for Spotify’s Sound Up 2020 program are now available in the US, with applications for other countries rolling out soon.

Through the workshop, participants will learn the ins and outs of developing and producing their very own podcasts. We’ve seen a huge interest in the program, with 20,000+ applications submitted over the past three years. Ultimately, 60 people have completed the program throughout the UK, Australia, the US, and Germany. Ten of those graduates have since launched their own shows, and three now have Spotify Original podcasts on the platform. To celebrate our graduates’ success, we’ve put several of their podcasts all in one place.

This year’s program, however, will look a little different. Due to the challenges of gathering during this unprecedented time, Sound Up will be divided into two phases. First up is a virtual four-week course that will take place later this year. To ensure everyone has equal access to technology, we’ll be providing computers, WiFi access, and podcast recording equipment to participants. Then, those who demonstrate a particular knack for podcasting will be invited to a future in-person training where they will further develop their ideas.

But that’s not the only new thing in store. Sound Up is also making its grand debut in two countries—Brazil and Sweden—in an effort to bring Sound Up to even more individuals. In Sweden, the program is aimed at women and non-binary people who may experience racism because of their skin color, culture, language, religion, or ethnicity. Applications in Brazil, will be open to young people of color from the Periferias, or outskirts of big cities.

Twenty applicants from each participating country will be chosen to take part in the four-week online program. During that time, they’ll start their podcasting journeys, honing their skills in  storytelling, designing a podcast, editing audio, and learning the business of the medium. At the very end, participants will leave with the tools they need to create a trailer for their show.

This year’s U.S. session will be facilitated by longtime collaborator and Sound Up veteran, Rekha Murthy. She will be joined by co-facilitator Maria Murriel of the production house Pizza Shark.

Thinking about applying but don’t have podcasting experience? Not to worry. To be a part of the program, you don’t need any prior podcasting experience, just something unique to say and a desire to use podcasts to say it. (Plus, you must be a resident of the country where you’re applying and self-identify as a member of the community being served in that country.)

U.S. residents can now apply for this year’s Sound Up here. Those in Sweden, Germany, and Brazil can apply later this month, and applications for the U.K. and Ireland will be available in August. The program will be offered to women and non-binary people of color in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, and Sweden; young people of color from the Periferias in Brazil; and members of the LGBQTI community in Germany. We can’t wait to hear what these new podcasters have to share.

Applications are now available for residents in the US . Interested applicants in other countries should stay tuned for more updates.