On International Women’s Day, Spotify Celebrates the Impact of Three Years of EQUAL

Spotify is dedicated to fostering gender equity in the music industry and beyond. As part of that commitment, we launched our EQUAL Global Music Program in 2021 to amplify and celebrate the work of women creators around the world. Since then, EQUAL has shined a spotlight on women in audio through global partnerships, activations, new content experiences, and on- and off-platform support.

Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’re taking a look at how the program has impacted artists around the world.

“We’re incredibly proud of EQUAL’s impact and reach in elevating the careers of artists globally over the last three years,” said Bel Aztiria, Lead, Social and Equity Music Programs at Spotify. “Since its inception, our mission to foster equity for the diverse voices of women in audio has resonated in studios and communities and on stages worldwide. We’re honored to continue collaborating with iconic and emerging artists this year and highlighting women audiobook and podcast creators in our EQUAL hub.”

“On International Women’s Day, we recognize the historical significance and continue championing audio content created by women. We’re committed to elevating the voices and contributions of women all year round.”

EQUAL by the numbers

Through EQUAL, Spotify empowers women creators and gives them a place to share their content with the world year-round. On Spotify, listeners in more than 180 markets can find the EQUAL hub, a space dedicated to this content.

The work is far from done, but we have a lot to be proud of as we continue on this journey. To date, Spotify has added more than 6,900 women artists to EQUAL playlists and supported over 1,000 ambassadors in their home countries and beyond through editorial, partnerships, and marketing.

EQUAL artists received 1.3 billion editorial streams within their first month of joining the program. In total, the EQUAL hub has generated over 31 billion editorial streams across 1 billion listening hours.

In 2023 alone, more than 14.8 million artist discoveries were made through EQUAL playlists, and EQUAL artists received over 11,800 total editorial playlist adds.

EQUAL here, there, and everywhere

With so much incredible talent to highlight and celebrate, EQUAL continues to evolve and expand. Today, the program has a presence in studios, on stages, and in communities around the world.

In 2023, Spotify hosted 15 EQUAL activations—from Buenos Aires to Tokyo, Paris to Sydney, and beyond. These initiatives include our very own EQUAL festivals (30,000 total attendees and counting!), panels, networking and educational opportunities for artists, original content recording, and participation at key industry events such as SXSW and the Grammy Awards.

This year, Mexico’s EQUAL Day aims to inspire the next generation of Mexican female creators with a day of various panels and keynotes with top-tier artists and creators, and a Spotify Masterclass for emerging artists. 

“We are keeping the same spirit that made last year’s EQUAL Day so inspiring and relevant, but still bringing something new, like shining a light on women ‘behind the scenes’ and presenting a live performance lineup that shows how powerful and diverse these women are. All of this is part of our continued effort to give more visibility to women artists and creators, and having this physical space to connect and be inspired by each other is so important and necessary.” — Moni Saldaña, Artists and Label Partnerships Manager, Spotify Mexico.

EQUAL also continues to amplify its mission globally through partnerships with organizations like UN Women and Calling All Crows, which champion gender equality and support women creators.

The bigger picture

While there is so much more to be done to close the gender gap in music, a positive shift is unfolding, which underscores the importance of initiatives like EQUAL in driving industry change.

For the fifth consecutive year, Spotify has partnered with the team at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative (AII) on an annual study of women in music. Published in January 2024, the latest findings demonstrate that women’s participation in the industry has improved across many metrics, with notable increases in women artists’ and songwriters’ representation.

New playlists and a refreshed hub

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Spotify by heading to the EQUAL hub. There, you’ll find our flagship EQUAL Global playlist, which includes Playlist Stories featuring our ambassadors and women artists worldwide. You’ll also find local playlists cocurated by ambassadors, brand-new podcast playlists, and an audiobook shelf (available in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia).