Spotify has launched SAWTIK, a new initiative to support Arab women in music. It aims to bring more attention to emerging female Arab artists from record labels and fans alike.
“Our journey to create a more inclusive creative ecosystem in MENA’s music industry has just begun”Lynn Fatouh, Spotify Consumer Marketing Manager in the Middle East and Africa
Spotify says SAWTIK will help these artists through education, networking and marketing support. To kickstart the initiative, the streaming company will feature Arab artists on the covers of 18 flagship playlists and later host the first-ever female-only Spotify masterclass.
In addition, Spotify is partnering with Tunisian singer Latifa and other industry influencers to bring attention to SAWTIK. Spotify has also created a dedicated SAWTIK playlist and digital billboards featuring female Arab artists.
The streaming company says Arab women musicians face major obstacles in the Middle East and North Africa. For example, 60% of aspiring female artists in the region feel stigmatized for pursuing a career in music. Also, in the past five years, less than 13% of label signings have been female.
However, on a positive note, 86% of labels agreed there is a demand for female Arab musicians. Finding this talent is the challenge they say.
“As an Arab female artist myself, I have witnessed how difficult it is to pursue a career in music,” says Lynn Fattouh, Spotify Consumer Marketing Manager in the Middle East and Africa. “Our journey to create a more inclusive creative ecosystem in MENA’s music industry has just begun, and we hope that these initial steps and actions will help push these conversations forward and lead to positive and lasting changes for female creators.”
The bigger picture
Spotify first launched in the Middle East in 2018 and its regional director, Claudius Boller, told AFP “we are only just getting started.” Moreover, he added that its growth in the Middle East has been “phenomenal.”
The company recently reported it had 320 million active users, 144 million of which were paid subscribers. That makes Spotify the world’s largest streaming service, beating competitors like Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music.
For more regional music-tech coverage check out…
- Music Tech Startup Band Industries Raises a $2.8M Series A Round
- Creating Audiobooks for 400 Million Arabic Speakers
- Shahid Partners with Fox, Disney and Spotify
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