In an open letter, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence announced Thursday (Oct. 26) the launch of his company’s social impact initiative Listen Better, which will commit $1.5 million in funding over the next three years to supporting grassroots activist and advocacy work centered around music.
"In today’s world, music faces mounting threats," wrote Spence. "Too many artists face barriers to free expression and others can be jailed or even killed for merely sharing their songs over the internet. Communities lack space and resources to ensure all musicians can be heard. We’re failing to foster a new generation of music lovers prepared for success in the modern economy."
Key objectives for Listen Better include fighting music censorship, defending digital rights and access to information for artists, providing robust tools such that emerging artists can be heard, and supporting music education in underserved communities. The initiative will be led by Sonos’ new Head of Social Impact Deji Olukotun, who formerly drove campaigns spanning cybersecurity and online censorship as Senior Global Advocacy Manager at Access Now.