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The latest controversy around Spotify concerns the $100m Creator Equity Fund that it announced just over a year ago.

Bloomberg claimed yesterday that Spotify has spent less than 10% of the fund, which was earmarked for investment in projects by musicians and podcasters from diverse and underrepresented communities.

Its report cited slow recruitment and shifting priorities within Spotify among the factors, for a fund that was anticipated to be spent over a three-year period. So, there is still time to accelerate the spending.

As the story spread to other outlets, Spotify offered its response, citing investments in projects including Glow (for LGBTQIA+ creators), Frequency (focusing on Black art and creators), NextGen (podcasts and Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and Amplifika (playlists featuring Black Brazilian creators).

There are also claims that it HAS spent more than 10% of the fund (albeit without an official figure for how much).

This scrutiny may be uncomfortable for Spotify, but it’s important – just as it is for the equity-focused funds announced by major labels in recent years.

When you talk the talk, you’ll be challenged on whether you’re walking the walk – and that’s a healthy thing for ensuring these funds deliver on their launch promises.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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