Spotify Technology SA’s $100 million Creator Equity Fund, designed to promote diversity in music and podcasts following controversial comments by the company’s star podcaster Joe Rogan, spent less than 10% of the money on that work as it rounded out its first year.
The initiative got off to a slow start hiring staff and has suffered from shifting priorities, according to people familiar with the effort who asked not to be identified discussing an internal matter. At the start of the year, the fund was still finalizing its 2023 budget and had yet to determine its priority projects, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News.
Another Spotify fund aimed at promoting diversity in podcasts suffered after that business was hit by layoffs last year, a union representing workers said.
Spotify declined to comment on specific spending numbers for the equity fund, but a spokesperson said it backed a number of initiatives in its first year, including Glow, which highlights music from LGBTQ artists, and Nailing It, a podcast hosted by three Black women.