There is a large disparity between the number of female singers and musicians played on Irish radio, and the number of men, according to a report released by the Why Not Her? Campaign.
The group today released a video on social media asking radio stations to play more female artists.
Please RT/Share. This is now a SOCIAL MOVEMENT : This video is a public call to action directed at the playlisters and PD's in and across Irish radio stations: we ask for the implementation of diversity, parity & inclusion across your heavy rotation playlists. #whynother pic.twitter.com/Acz3p3erAl— WhyNotHer (@WhyNotHerIre) January 28, 2021
Activist Linda Coogan Byrne looked at music played on Irish radio stations between June 24th and December 24th, 2020, in particular the top five most-played songs on each station.
She had carried out a similar survey in the first half of the year and found that some stations had increased the number of female artists they featured.
These included RTÉ 2fm, Spin 103.8, Spin South West, Beat 102/103, 98FM, LMFM and WLRFM. Meanwhile RTE Radio One remains the radio station with the highest number of women featured - 60% of the 'top five' artists on that station were female in the second half of 2020.
But on other stations, in particular some commercial stations outside of Dublin, the disparity still exists, and some playlists featured 85% male artists.
Coogan Byrne maintains that although some people claim there simply aren't enough female artists in Ireland, this is not the case and that for women to break through to the mainstream, their voices need to be featured on radio.
She added that with Covid-19 restrictions in place, radio is also a vital source of commercial revenue for performers.
Musician Aoife Scott told RTÉ News that even in the age of streaming and digital music, radio remains an incredibly important resource for musicians, and said being featured on a station like RTÉ Radio one had a huge impact on her career.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle Cummins, CEO of Beat 102/103, which is one of the stations that showed an improvement in playing female acts, said the station did take the findings of the report on board.
But she said radio stations do feature young and emerging artists, and she said the wider music industry must work with radio stations to promote female artists and their work.