The issue of possible gender bias in country radio is not a new one, and it has been on the front burner again of late, including the release of the report “Gender Representation On Country Format Radio” which came out last month. The topic was addressed again during the debut of Country Radio Broadcasters’ webinar series CRS360, which kicked off at 2pm CT on Thursday, May 23. It was the first of a two-part series and featured Stone Door Media Lab’s Jeff Green, Vanderbilt University Postdoctoral Scholar Rachel Skaggs, Ph.D., and Cumulus Director of NASH Programming and WKDF/Nashville PD John Shomby. The discussion was moderated by SummitMedia VP/Programming and President/GM of the company’s Wichita cluster, Beverlee Brannigan.
Green, whose analyses were based on data from Shazam and Pandora, said he confirmed that female country artists aren’t getting a “fair deal” from radio. Green said, “They don’t and never really have.” And the gender gap has been more pronounced in recent years. “From 2007-2018 on average about 30% of the 2,300 country single releases have been by female artists,” Green said, adding that 30% of the music released should account for the same percentage of what is “most added.” “But that’s not what’s been happening,” he said. “Female-artist share of top ten most-added since 2015 is only 24%, not 30%.” In terms of top ten most-added country singles during this time, Green says 64% of those by female artists charted, compared to 77% of top ten most-added country singles by male artists. “Of those that did chart, the average peak position for females was just 25, compared to 14 for males. That’s a big difference. Only ten female country artists have achieved any Top 15 hits in the past two years” — male artists who have had Top 15 hits in the same time period is 55, he added.