The latest edition of the Gender Disparity Data report on UK radio shows by UK artists showed slight improvements over last year’s results.
Between January 1 and August 1, 2021, 44% of the top 50 UK artists on UK radio were men, down 7% from a year ago. Women made up 20% – a 1% increase – and non-binary artists, represented exclusively by Sam Smith, 2%. Mixed collaborations represented 34% of circulation, up 4% from 2020.
The slight change was also tangible behind the scenes. Male songwriters and songwriters created 76.4% of those radio hits, down 3.6%. Songwriters represented 23.2%, up significantly from 19% last year. Non-binary songwriters and songwriters have fallen from 1% in 2020 to 0.4% this year.
White artists made up 60% of the 50 most played songs on UK radio during the period. MÃ©tis collaborations were 36% and people of color were 4%.
The report found that while white male solo artists such as Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles proliferated in the top 50, no male artist of color appeared alone – a factor in part attributable to the tradition of collaboration and guest verses in the rap.
Commenting on the report, Why Not Her? The collective said, âThe music scene has been one of the industries hardest hit by Covid and one of the main ways an artist can generate income is through broadcast royalties. We cannot stand idly by and continue to allow women, people of color and members of the LGBTQIA community to be excluded from the equal pay opportunities that come with airtime allocation in the industry. from the radio.
âWe hope these data reports can continue to pave the way for many changes to come. Change can happen when unconscious biases are removed.
The Gender Disparity Data report was compiled by Linda Coogan Byrne, music industry consultant, and Winnie Ama, artist and data analyst.
Another side of the report focused on the top 20 songs played by UK artists on UK radio stations during the period August 1, 2020 to August 1, 2021. The list was dominated by Joel Corry and Head and Heart by MNEK, followed by Dua Lipa (Levitation) and Sigala and James Arthur (The Enduring Lover).
The broadcast of BBC, Bauer and Global stations has shifted to mixed and mixed-race collaborations rather than solo women or POC artists – reflecting release trends at major labels, which account for 96% of the top 50 songs.
BBC Radio 1 showed a clear shift in the preference for British male solo artists towards mixed collaborations. Men made up 45% of circulation this year, up from 85% in the previous 12 months. Collaborations have gone from 5% to 45%. Female solo artists were stuck at 10%.
British female artists were also disadvantaged by collaborations on BBC Radio 2: men held firm at 55%, women fell from 40% to 25% and mixed collaborations fell from 5% to 20%.
BBC Radio 6 Music showed the biggest improvement of any BBC station, with men dropping from 60% to 45%, women dropping from 10% to 40%, and collaborations halving from 30% to 15% .
A BBC spokesperson told GuardianL: âBBC Radio is committed to supporting and celebrating a diverse range of music on our pop platforms, from festival slots to playlist, with around 40% songs from the playlist featuring female artists.
Rock-focused stations Absolute Radio (Bauer) and Radio X (Global) featured 0% UK artists in their broadcast for the period, as in 2020. Kerrang! (Bauer), who had 0% female in the previous 12 months, showed improvement, now with 10%.
A Bauer spokesperson told The Guardian: âWe are improving the representation of women on our stations, not only in terms of our playlist, but with the talent on air. Our stations have introduced more female programming this year and continue to work with labels and the music industry at large to ensure that the future of rock and indie is fully inclusive.
The report highlighted Classic FM as an agent of change and the most improved station for gender parity and racial parity in their top 20 charts, with members of the Kanneh-Mason family in featured in their most played songs.