Study Calls Out Country Radio’s Lack Of Women


A recent study titled “They Won’t Play a Lady-O on Country Radio: Examining Back-to-Back Plays by Gender, Race, and Sexual Orientation” by Jan Diehm and Dr. Jada Watson presents data to back up the belief that country radio stations have been reluctant to play songs by women, especially back-to-back.

The study analyzed programming on 29 major market country radio stations in large market areas throughout 2022. The authors said, “For each of these stations, we downloaded 24-hour daily logs from Mediabase for 19 total dates in 2022: the last Friday of each month, plus 7 additional days that correspond to release dates for all the 2022 song releases by women that charted in the same year, giving stations the best commercial shot at playing music by women.”

Dr. Watson and Diehm found that songs by women were played back-to-back only 0.5% of the time, with most of plays during overnight hours. The study also revealed that the majority of back-to-back plays for women were not current singles but rather older songs from the “gold catalog” or recurrent songs.

Furthermore, the study showed songs by women of color and LGBTQ+ artists received even less airplay, with less than 1% for each category in 2022. Overall, despite the incorporation of data beyond radio airplay in the Hot Country Songs chart, the percentage of charting songs by female artists has averaged just 15% in recent years.

The authors say this lack of representation on country radio has detrimental effects on female artists’ careers, leading to fewer signing opportunities, performance slots, awards nominations, and limited growth and evolution.


  1. I’m also in tears. Where do women and trans go for inclusion? Why can’t women get a fair shake. My weekend is truly ruined by this and I am a man. I stand with diversity in radio.


  2. I started crying when I read this article. The country and country music are so lost. Women and LGTBQ+ are basically left behind. Will it ever change? When will anyone mention women or minorities.


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