Courtesy Spotify

We are officially in the golden age of podcasting. It seems like every week, there is an influx of new podcasts by your favorite comedians, politicians, or influencers that you just have to listen to.

Although 56% of Latinos have listened to a podcast, the demographics of podcast creators themselves aren’t as diverse. Latinos and other people of color still have to deal with gatekeeping and other hurdles to have their podcasts heard that non-POC don’t have to deal with. Luckily, Spotify is trying to change that.

After the successful debut of their podcast accelerator program, Sound Up, Spotify is now hoping to create content specifically for Latinos with Sound Up Latinx.

Photographerd by Dado Ruvic/Source/Creative Commons

The original Sound Up was a trailblazing podcast accelerator program that aimed to diversify the podcast space by giving a platform to BIPOC and other marginalized creatives. Like Sound Up Latinx, the original Sound Up was created for women. “In 2018 there was an Infinite Dial study that indicated that only 22% of podcasts were hosted by women and we set out to change that,” said Spotify’s Sound Up Global Lead, Natalie Tulloch, in an exclusive interview with mitú.

Sound Up Latinx is for anyone who identifies as Latino and believes they have what it takes to be a successful podcaster. There is no need to have experience in the podcasting field — everyone is invited to apply. “All they need is a strong idea and a passion for the medium,” said Tulloch. In fact, the ideal Sound Up Latinx candidate is “a passionate podcast consumer with a great idea that they are excited about making.”

Sound Up Latinx wants to tap potential creators that haven’t had the opportunity to develop their vision through more traditional routes.

via Flickr/Creative Commons

The demographics of podcast listeners are rapidly diversifying, but the demographics of podcast creators need to catch up. Sound Up Latinx wants to tackle underrepresentation head-on by bridging that gap between Latinx listeners and Latinx podcast content. That way, Latinos can find more content they connect to.

“The podcast ecosystem is developing fast in the US and it’s already one of the most consolidated in the world,” said Tulloch. “However, when we check the podcasts charts, there’s a lot to be improved regarding diversity of creators. And with more than 60 million LatinX living in the U.S., it became clear that the LatinX was the next community to address with the program.”

The Sound Up Latinx program will have two parts. First, there will be a four-week virtual training program. After the training program, 10 Spotify-selected applicants will further their studies through a curriculum that includes live courses and recorded lessons.

Ten participants will then pitch and submit a podcast trailer and proposal for the opportunity to be selected as a finalist for the 2022 Sound Up sessions. And being a Sound Up podcaster isn’t just an empty title. “I can genuinely say that I’m incredibly proud of anyone that has gone through the program and have gone on to launch a podcast,” said Tulloch to mitú. “It takes so much work to launch a new show.”

Sound Up Latinx applicants must self-identify as Latinx, be at least 20 years of age and living in the United States, regardless of immigration status. Learn more about Sound Up Latinx here.