PLEDGE YOUR POWER
You - the programmers and decision-makers of music playlists - have the power to change mainstream country radio’s current culture.
Solo female artists often make up around 8-10% of your overall playlists. Some of the format’s biggest names have spoken out about the discrimination they’ve experienced, as reflected on the airplay charts, and the difficulties they face trying to build a career on a mere fraction of the airplay of their male counterparts.
This conversation is tired and all of us are tired of it. It’s time for less talk and more action.
We invite country radio programmers and music decision-makers to take the MOREx2020 pledge. The goal is simple: to see increasingly more women added to playlists and played in heavier rotation on mainstream country radio and large-scale streaming platforms by 2020.
Please see the FAQ section below for more details.
How to pledge:
Commit to adding more women to your playlist so the percentage of women being heard in all day parts rises significantly by 2020.
Fill out the form below to authorize that your pledge (name and station information only) is publicly added to this webpage.
Celebrate with your listeners about how you are responding to their expressed interests and providing more opportunities for their stories to be heard on your station by expanding the songs, perspectives, and shared experiences offered.
Feel confident that you are actively contributing to efforts that ensure country radio remains culturally relevant and country music’s reputation is better promoted worldwide.
PLEDGE YOUR POWER:
PLEDGES TO DATE:
WE SEE YOU. WE KNOW YOU CAN HELP CREATE A BETTER CULTURE IN COUNTRY MUSIC.
LET US ADD YOUR NAME HERE AND LET’S GET STARTED.
Who is invited to pledge MOREx2020?
The pledge form above is reserved for mainstream country radio program and music directors, corporate music decision-makers, and playlist curators for large-scale streaming platforms and stations. Names, emails, and station identifiers will be reviewed before names are posted publicly.
While we encourage everyone to make a personal pledge to support more women in their lives, purchases, and playlists, the goal of this initiative is to encourage those often at the center of this conversation - the decision-makers of mainstream terrestrial radio stations and large-scale streaming platforms - to move beyond the contentious talk and take constructive action.
What will happen when I pledge?
WOMAN Nashville will review the information provided on the pledge form to ensure that the source is a known music decision-maker affiliated with one of the approved outlets as outlined above. Pledges will be listed on this page within 24 hours to publicly acknowledge the participant as a leader in country music and an advocate for a more inclusive culture.
Why does WOMAN Nashville focus on “solo female artists”?
We love mixed bands, features, and super groups as much as anyone. We encourage you to play them too. They are part of the reason why we believe it is impossible to outline a goal of 50/50 airplay for any form of gender representation though. Nor are we convinced that is an appropriate aim anyway. We envision a day when the majority of airplay fluctuates between genders. A future where strong single releases dictate more of what is heard rather than relying on gender as a tool for discrimination.
Right now, in this culture where solo female artists struggle for less than 10% inclusion, we are focused on ensuring stand-alone women are heard more frequently so there is less of a percentage gap between them and their stand-alone male counterparts.
The stories of female singers and songwriters matter. They are important to the fabric of our culture and to this format’s legacy. More significantly, they matter to your listeners. Women want to hear women. Men want to hear women. Songs and stories, both written and performed by women, shouldn’t be optional. What a sad commentary it would be if we, as an industry, truly believed that women were somehow less and it showed through our airplay. We don’t actually think that’s the case and this is an opportunity for programmers to confirm that they understand the value of women’s voices too.
Why just MORE - not 50/50?
WOMAN Nashville doesn’t support quotas. During any given year, we understand that playlist representation will ebb and flow with releases from solo males, solo females, mixed groups, features, and bands. As such, a playlist’s percentage of representation should vary accordingly. A goal of 50/50 by 2020 would make for a great headline, but what we are really after is an achievable result.
Playlists should be more balanced - that’s just common sense. The jump from less than 10% to 50% is possible but, based on what we’ve seen and heard from programmers, not probable. More representation is both possible and probable with your pledged action.
Women don’t want what isn’t deserved. We are inviting you to participate because we are confident that there are more talented solo female artists releasing quality singles that are worthy of increased adds and airplay than what is currently represented on most stations.
Less than 10% airplay is about as low as our format can go before “bro-country” isn’t just a current style trend, but rather radio’s tragic skewing of country music overall.
MOREx2020 is a movement toward higher percentages over time. Moving from 8% to 18%, 18% to 28%, 28% to 38% and so on. Not some day but starting now.
What if my station already has an entire hour dedicated to airplay for women or a separate show? The men don’t have that. What more do you want?
We all know it could easily be argued that every other hour on your station is basically all-male since current songs from women only get played about 1-2 times an hour during prime day parts.
Aside from that though, WOMAN Nashville doesn’t actually advocate for special subset shows for women. We appreciate that they are being used as a stopgap right now so women aren’t completely erased from country music’s current culture but we believe there is a better way.
The simplest solution to a problem is usually the best. In this case, adding women to regular rotation at the same rates you add men is a reasonable step. We don’t want stations with all women any more than we want stations with all men. All we are asking is for more representation. It can be a subtle, but significant, shift over the next year if that’s what best fits your station. Or, you can take the plunge and show the nation how it’s really done. The implementation is up to you. The results of your work have the power to lift us all up.
Why don’t you start with the record labels?
The investment, for everyone, is less at radio. Adding more women to your existing playlist is free and there are new opportunities every day, week, and month. Adding more women to more regular rotation doesn’t require any branding or rebranding efforts, cash investment, or costs. No mountain-moving is required.
The model is simple: a new deserving woman gets added this week along with the others already being played on your station. Next week, another woman joins that existing group and so on. It may not be every week but it will be more weeks.
Occasionally, radio exchanges its female artists rather than carving out places for all the worthy songs at once. We discourage this practice. Higher percentages of women will be the result of cumulative action. 2 women this week, those same 2 and a third next week.
It’s worth mentioning that no other subset of the industry has taken a bigger hit to their reputation than radio. The power to change the industry’s entire culture and reset radio’s public image rests with you. We’re asking that you rise to the occasion and use this opportunity as one of radio’s biggest success stories.
What is this whole “women want more” thing? Do you hate men?
Absolutely not. We believe there are many men who understand that 8-10% airplay based solely on an artist’s gender is blatantly biased and bad for business. It’s a burgeoning black mark on a circle that prides itself on being unbroken.
As more and more listeners tune out and turn to their own playlists, we believe radio’s leadership wants the industry to remain largely relevant. All that is missing right now are decision-makers who commit to take meaningful action in this area and improve country music’s culture overall.
What will you use my email and information for after I pledge?
Within 24 hours of filling out the form above, we will share your name and station information (call letters and/or moniker) as a current leader in country radio. WOMAN Nashville will not add you to any lists or use your information outside of this campaign. There is no “catch” here. You pledge and play more women. We celebrate you and all enjoy the culture change.