The LGBTQ community has a long history of influencing music history for the better — be it through the creation of whole genres, the success of mainstream queer artists or otherwise. Now, Spotify wants to help amplify that influence.
On Tuesday (Jan. 24), the streaming service debuted their latest music program, GLOW. The project — much like fellow equity global music programs EQUAL and Frequency for female and Black creators, respectively — is specifically catered to LGBTQ artists, aiming to “elevate LGBTQIA+ creators, both on and off platform,” according to Spotify.
To fulfill that goal, GLOW will have a year-round hub on the platform housing LGBTQ-dedicated playlists for fans to discover new music from queer-identifying artists, with new playlists set to be introduced each month. One of these playlists is a global flagship playlist of the same name, featuring LGBTQ voices from around the world and refreshing each month with new offerings.
As with previous equity programs at Spotify, GLOW will also benefit from a “360 program,” which will provide opportunities for editiorial and marketing partnerships with other major brands as well as providing charitable giving to organizations benefiting LGBTQ arts causes, including QORDS, Black Trans Femmes in the Arts (The BTFA Collective), It Gets Better and more.
GLOW will additionally shine a spotlight on different LGBTQ artists every month, with 11 — including Sam Smith, Arlo Parks, Tove Lo and Pabllo Vittar — showcased at launch. Future spotlight artists will be featured on Spotify’s For the Record editorial channel as well as on a Times Square billboard.
Cahleb Derry, an associate manager of music marketing at Spotify, said in a statement that the aim of GLOW was to provide needed support for a community that often doesn’t receive it. “The question we go back to is, ‘How do we tangibly influence the resources that LGBTQIA+ artists have?’” he said. “We know that a lot of artists only get hit up in June during Pride to do campaigns. And then July 1 hits and there’s no work to be found again … we, at Spotify, have a responsibility as the largest music audio platform in the world to fill in these gaps.”
The GLOW launch is a bright spot that comes amid Spotify’s announcement on Monday that they would be cutting 6% of their global workforce and that chief content & advertising business officer Dawn Ostroff would be departing her role. “I hoped to sustain the strong tailwinds from the pandemic and believed that our broad global business and lower risk to the impact of a slowdown in ads would insulate us,” Daniel Ek said in a note to employees posted on the company’s website. “In hindsight, I was too ambitious in investing ahead of our revenue growth.”
Check out the official GLOW Spotify hub here.