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Spotify Launches Global Cultures Initiative

World music playlists will be spotlighted as part of plan to "promote and advance culturally diverse music."

Spotify is urging listeners to “discover hits from around the world” with a new Global Cultures Initiative that “promotes and advances culturally diverse music.”

About 1 in 4 Spotify users around the world listens to music by artists from a culture (or country) different from their own, according to a post on the Spotify blog about new content features that will include diverse international music playlists. The post pointed to the initiative’s relevance in “an age where many communities and cultures live in countries far away from their homelands. For example, 15 million [people of Lebanese descent] live in Brazil—more than in Lebanon itself.”

A goal of the new initiative is for “playlists to be as eclectic as our palates” and encourage listeners choose music the way they choose a restaurant: “Depending on the day, you may have a taste for Mexican, Chinese, or Italian cuisine.”


“Why is food from other countries so embedded in our culture and yet music isn’t?” Spotify Global Cultures head Rocio Guerrero is quoted as saying. “Because streaming didn’t exist. But now it’s happening

“We have launched numerous high-profile playlists and programs in the recent past but Global Cultures is poised to become one of the most important things we are doing as a leader in the field of streaming audio,” Guerrero adds.

Arab and African hubs will join already launched playlists devoted to the Desi and Latino music in the coming weeks, with playlists featuring “top songs, both old and new, from diasporic communities around the world.”


Following the huge success of “Despacito” and other international crossover hits, Spotify has also just launched a “Global X” playlist. It currently includes collaborative tracks featuring Major Lazor, J Balvin, Cardi B and other names found on the Billboard charts.

“The playlist speaks to the global nature and allure of music, featuring hits from L.A. to Lagos,” according to the Spotify blog post.