Equity is a powerful word. Our conversations at work have frequently been around gender equality even though they should be on gender equity, which in turn accelerates equality. The audio industry fares no different, as women have been underrepresented for a long time, and this disparity is visible in the music and podcasts being consumed in many countries, including India. Global reports suggest that there is no gender equality in terms of pay and representation in the music industry. In fact, a 2018 study saw male producers outnumber female producers, 49:1. And it’s not that there are fewer female singers, songwriters, producers, scriptwriters, or agents on the scene. It’s just that their voices are not as amplified as their male counterparts.
In India, this skew in representation has existed for a long time. Despite having talented women in music for decades, their representation has been negligible in comparison to the number of male musicians. Fast forward to today, you may have noticed how music festivals tend to feature more male artists than female. Not just that. Even when you think of Indian music producers, how many women can you really think of? Well, we Googled it and only found two, while the list of male music producers was endless. The story isn’t very different in the world of podcasts either.
But it’s not all gloomy. There is a growing community of women in audio who are transforming music and podcasts in the country, and want to share their stories with aspiring artists and creators. Audio streaming platform Spotify is making this possible through AmplifiHer, its year-long initiative that aims to put the spotlight on Indian female voices that are changing the audio industry, in front of the mic or behind the scene. A unique platform, AmplifiHer will feature artists, music composers and producers, lyricists, as well as podcast creators and hosts.
Spotify has brought together some of the most daring, creative, and talented women including Aastha Atray, Alokananda Dasgupta, Asees Kaur, Heena Kriplani, Kausar Munir, Mae Thomas, Neha Bhasin, Nikhita Gandhi, Nirmika Singh, Priya Saraiya, Ritnika Nayan, and Shilpa Rao, all of whom will share their insights over the year. They will conduct masterclasses, share career tips, and their own journeys of growth.
AmplifiHer also includes two other global programs that Spotify has for building equity - EQUAL and Sound Up. EQUAL caters to female artists and podcasters and features them prominently on the platform. Sound Up gives underrepresented podcasters the tools to boost their platforms and build their own shows. This program will launch soon In India, and focus on women.
The AmplifiHer microsite has been created for those who want to discover and engage with some of India’s best talent in the audio business, and sample their content. If you’re a woman trying to break into India’s audio scene, Spotify also wants to hear from you.
An initiative like this brings to the fore the success that women in India’s thriving audio industry are seeing, and is the first step in the direction to inspire and drive confidence amongst India's next generation of female talent - whether they are already in the business, or exploring career opportunities in it.
Also Read: 4 Podcasts On Women Issues And Feminism You Must Tune In To
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