Report: Female Country Artists Only Get 10% Airplay


As the Country radio world prepares to descend upon Nashville this week for the 2020 Country Radio Seminar, the story that seems to lead into the event every year is front and center once again. Are female artists getting a fair shake on Country radio?

University of Ottawa adjunct professor Jada Watson, in partnership with CMT’s Equal Play Campaign, has released a new 28-page study on the topic of female artists and Country radio. Last year Watson released a study that included data from 2002 to 2018. This new report includes data from 2019.

Watson zeroed in on 10% for many data points in the study. She says 10% is a key statistic for women in country music. “Ten percent represents the space that women occupied within country music culture by 2019:

— 10% of the spins for songs within the Top 150 on Mediabase’s Year end Airplay Reports between 2010 and 2019.

— 10% of the daily spins on Mediabase’s Weekly Airplay Reports in 2019.

— 10% of the songs in the Top 20 of Medibase’s Weekly Airplay Charts and Billboard’s Weekly Airplay Charts in 2019.

— 10% of the songs in the Top 10 of Medibase’s Weekly Airplay Charts and Billboard’s Weekly Airplay Charts in 2019; 0% of the songs on Billboard’s Yearend Airplay Chart in 2019.”

Watson says 10%, depending on the time of day a listener tunes in to their local station, is barely enough to be heard. “It’s certainly not enough exposure to become known, to build a fanbase, to climb charts, to gain enough recognition to have access to opportunities and resources within the industry. It’s just enough airplay to show that songs by women are receiving airplay, but not enough to make their work visible to viewers. Over the last 20 years, women’s music has become invisible.”

Read the entire 2020 study HERE.


  1. That’s great! 10% is higher in country than in other genres. Country is more female friendly than rock or alternative. The 10% is also much higher than it was in the 70s or 80s. In order to make it 50%, it means radio will have to stop playing a lot of men.


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