Spotify’s Secret Genius Program takes note of unsung heroes — songwriters

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Streaming giant Spotify launched a new global initiative to highlight accomplished pop songwriters, aiming to showcase some of the creative talents in the music industry who don’t get the credit they deserve.

Called the Secret Genius Program, the new project will feature multiple threads, including an ambassador program, global songwriting workshops, awards, and podcasts and curated playlists.

“Songwriters and producers are the backbone of the industry and we want to help celebrate these incredibly talented people,” Spotify’s Global Head of Creator Services Troy Carter said in a statement. “The goal of Secret Genius is to give credit where credit is due by shining a light on these amazing creators.”

The full list of ambassadors includes a globe-spanning array of songwriters who have written for a slew of the most popular names in music, including Rihanna, Drake, Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, and more.

Secret Genius playlists and podcasts will be curated to include the biggest hits from each songwriter’s body of work, as well as in-depth interviews that dive into the true stories behind some of the world’s biggest hits.

For Spotify, which has had a contentious relationship with musical creators due to what some allege are low royalty payments, the new initiative marks a smart attempt at shining a light inside of the music industry. By highlighting some of the least publicly appreciated people in music, the company likely hopes to gain more support in the industry at large.

“Spotify cracked the magical code of how to make music consumption really work in the digital age,” said Justin Tranter, whose songs have been performed by artists like Selena Gomez and Bieber. “I’m honored to be a part of them taking that one step further with their Secret Genius ambassador program. Working with some of the most talented artists, producers and fellow writers in the world has allowed me to make music the whole world has heard, and I’m excited to share that even more.”

The list of 13 songwriters associated with the Secret Genius Program can be found on Spotify’s website. The inaugural Secret Genius Awards will take place this fall, according to Variety, though no formal plans have been announced.