Now There's a Spotify 'Equalizer' Algorithm That Balances Female and Male Artists

There’s more than meets the eye in Smirnf’s new “global gender equality” campaign with Spotify.

As part its “Equalizing Music” global campaign, vodka brand Smirnf has announced a partnership with Spotify.  The global campaign will promote equality for female musicians around the world on the streaming music platform.

According to Spotify, not a single woman or female group appeared in its 2017 top 10 most-streamed tracks list.  To remedy this problem, the streaming music platform will launch the ‘Smirnf Equalizer,’ an API that will actively promote female musicians.

The Smirnf Equalizer will first analyze Spotify users’ listening habits, providing fans with a gender percentage breakdown.  Users will see the number male versus female artists that have been played over the past six months.  The Smirnf Equalizer will then give users a balanced playlist that represents both genders equally.

It will also provide a personalized slider where users can increase the number female artists in the playlist.  We’re not sure if the slider goes the other way (towards more male artists), or what happens with ‘mixed gender’ groups.

Speaking about the new API, Neil Shah, Smirnf’s Global Brand Manager said that his company wants music fans to discover talented female artists.  This, he believes, will generate a better overall listening experience on Spotify.

But, what’s really behind the new campaign?

Spotify and Smirnf’s new partnership comes during a tumultuous period in the music industry.  Two months ago, Neil Portnow, President the Recording Industry, set f a firestorm immediately after the Grammy Awards.

Speaking on the low representation women in music, he suggested that women had to “step up.”  Female artists and their managers, along with top male and female executives in the music industry, quickly condemned the comments.  In fact, Portnow almost lost his job.

At first, Smirnf’s partnership with Spotify appears to only promote gender equality in the music industry.  According to Marketing Dive, however, the vodka brand may have launched the API just to draw in female drinkers.  Turns out that’s an increasingly lucrative demographic.

Smirnf’s initiative coincides with a new report showing that women have started drinking more.

JAMA Psychiatry, a monthly, peer-reviewed medical journal, found that this is especially true for older women and minorities.  Accordingly, Johnnie Walker recently launched Jane Walker, a female version its traditional Striding Man logo.  Jane Walker will appear on limited edition Black Label products.

Smirnf’s campaign will also help raise brand awareness among Spotify’s younger audience.  Marketing Dive believes that getting more people to listen to female artists will help younger consumers rally behind Smirnf.  Female musicians, in turn, will get paid, have the chance to increase their fan bases, and may have more opportunities to perform.

The vodka brand launched the Smirnf Equalizer campaign at an event in New York City.  There, the company introduced limited edition “Phenomenal You” N. 21 vodka bottles.  It will give 100 bottles to “phenomenal women around the world.”  At the promotional event, attendees were invited to create personalized videos themselves looking into mirrors.  They could then add what made them phenomenal.


Featured image by PXHere (CC0)