Spotify US has launched the latest edition of its Sound Up training program with a first-ever focus on the kids and family audience.
The four-year-old training and mentorship program aims to help creators from historically excluded communities learn how to produce for the podcasting market. This edition focuses on content targeting kids ages three to nine, and the whole-family co-listening experience.
Starting on June 13, 10 creators will spend five months in live and virtual sessions learning how to use production technology, and receiving training in child development, education and content safety to increase their knowledge about kids’ emotional wellbeing. The program will culminate in a pairing of the creators with third-party producers or prodcos to create a pilot that each creator will fully own. Pilots may also potentially become Spotify Originals.
The announcement of the new edition of Sound Up was made at Kidscreen Summit Virtual on Monday, March 7. In an address discussing its kids and family podcasting strategy, Spotify’s head of kids audio content Verdell Walker said the company wants to become a premium player in the kid-focused podcasting space, creating can’t-miss content that families can use to build daily routines around. She says the new Sound Up program aims to service that goal and fulfill a need in the market: “The podcasting space needs more family content created by diverse creators.”
Sound Up partner Rekha Murthy will facilitate the program, along with Dawn Fraser, a professional storyteller and communications coach.
Spotify ran its first Sound Up training program in 2018 to help underrepresented creators get into podcasting. It has since expanded to attract many participants who are women, non-binary, people of color and members from LGBQT+ community.
Former Sound Up graduates have gone on to produce popular shows including Dope Labs, Search Engine Sex, You Heard Me Write and FOGO: Fear of Going Outside.
Applications for the program will be accepted online until April 8. On March 24, Fraser and Walker will be hosting a session in Spotify’s Greenroom app sharing details about the Sound Up program and how to prepare a strong application.