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British female artists are underrepresented on UK radio, study finds

Songs by Jorja Smith, Mabel and Shaybo were broadcast less frequently than their male peers in a 12 month period

British female artists are underrepresented on UK radio, a new study has found.

The Gender Disparity Radio Report, from Women in CTRL and Linda Coogan Byrne, has produced a report to provide analysis of the 20 most-played british acts across British radio stations in the period of June 2019 - 2020, and the top 100 radio airplay chart in 2020.

Broken down into male, female and collab categories, the findings on the report outline the Gender Disparity that is present in the Top 20 most played songs by British artists across 31 individual radio stations in the UK. Among the radio stations included were BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra, Kiss, BBC radio 6, Capital FM, and Heart. Each of these radio stations played less than 25% of songs from female artists during the 12 month period.

BBC Radio 1 played 85% male music in the last year, with acts like Jorja Smith, Mahalia, and Shaybo making up BBC Radio 1Xtra's 30% of female artists to recieve airplay. According to the report, Radio X have played no songs by female artists in the last 12 months.

You can see the full Gender Disparity Radio Report here.

In 2019, over 250 organisations pledged to tackle the music industry's gender imbalance. The announcement was made by the PRS Foundation, expanding on the Keychange pledge, launched in February 2018 to level the male-female playing field at festivals across the world. 

Barcelona's Primavera Sound 2019 was the first to achieve a 50-50 gender split, with more than 190 events now signed up to do the same by 2022. 

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