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News October 6, 2019

Spotify’s ‘Global Cultures Initiative’ takes left turn as key players leave

Spotify’s ‘Global Cultures Initiative’ takes left turn as key players leave

In a new feature by Rolling Stone, a closer look at Spotify’s 2018-launched ‘Global Cultures Initiative’ has taken a significant pivot as key members involved in the progression of the initiative have now left the streaming service.

When it was originally launched ‘Global Cultures’ was set to encourage and support the rise of non-Western artists on Spotify and propel non-North American and Western European music communities onto the streaming service’s stage.

Fast forward to now and things look mighty different. Speaking with industry sources who remained anonymous in their feature, Rolling Stone noted that the team behind ‘Global Cultures’ had broken apart; the then-Head of Global Cultures, Rocio Guerrero, took a job at Warner, while Tunde Ogundipe (Global Lead of African Music Culture) and Himanshu Suri (Senior Editor, Indian music) also left their respective roles at Spotify.

At the time of ‘Global Cultures’ launch, Guerrero had said it was ‘poised to become one of the most important things we are doing as a leader in the field of streaming audio.’

Playlists including Dancehall Official (boasting 800k followers) and African Heat (500k followers) had been noticed not to have been updated for up to 13 days, while Desi Hits (over 300k followers) has gone untouched for 11.

While label execs and producers in these genres and global communities have voiced their concern with Spotify’s dedication to music coming out from those corners, the streaming service has tried to reassure the industry that Global Cultures is still a priority.

“We’re investing in growing our Global Cultures initiative by expanding from a small team working out of New York to a larger, region-specific team of experts.” a spokesperson said.

“Having numerous people on the ground across many markets will ensure that Spotify is fully immersed in the local music and cultures represented on our platform.”

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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