Some streaming services such as Spotify claim the reason they don't feature female country artists prominently is because the data & analytics tells their curators that audience support is limited.
Members of our team who have worked in data analysis recognize that this may simply be selection bias. This week we observed that:
Hot Country has 7 slots with female artists out of 52 songs. One these women - Kelsea Ballerini appears three times. One a collaboration with The Chainsmokers. If you’re keeping count that’s only 13% of available slots.. Though technically that’s only 5 women.
New Boots has 12 women in 60 slots for a 20% footprint.
Wild Country has 19 women in a 68 song playlist for a 28% fill rate.
New Boots and Wild Country fare much better. But is still nowhere near what is equitable. Especially if you consider that some female artists take up more than one slot.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re incredibly thrilled that Cassadee Pope, now releasing her music independently after a stint with Big Machine Label Group, is the face of Hot Country. But in all cases, the earliest a female artist appears is not until slot #9.
There is one minority woman. Becky G on her duet with Kane Brown.
It matters where music from female artists are placed. If not the deck is stacked against them. It also matters on which playlists these artists are placed, if not the deck is definitely stacked against them when it comes to discovery.
A 10-30% inclusion rate for new/emerging artists is problematic for a genre that has given us career artists such as Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Loretta Lynn, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline and on and on and on.
Today we launch, Taste of Country, a country playlist that aims to give women better representation. We also plan to be more aggressive in helping you discover gems in a genre that seems to have a tough time enabling women to find their voice.
Taste of Country is not a female-only Spotify playlist. We just plan on restoring balance to an ecosystem that is unfairly tilted against women.
We urge you to play, save and follow these artists *and* this playlist. We need to generate enough influence to prove that the women in this genre are worthy and powerful enough to deserve support on these platforms. Be it through algorithms or curation teams.
Again, raw stream counts alone mean very little. It’s about driving engagement, listenership and followers. Follow and submit music here that you think deserves to be supported. But do your part. Spread the word.